2022 budget inconsistent with government digitization policy – Azongo

Kumasi, Nov. 19, GNA – A Development Planner and Economist has said the introduction of the e-transaction tax in the 2022 budget is inconsistent with the government’s digitization policy drive.

Mr. Nyaaba-Aweebo Azongo, says the new tax would defeat an attempt by the government to promote a cashless economy and online trading, which was now a growing avenue of employment for the youth.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi in reaction to the 2022 budget statement presented to parliament by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on Wednesday, he said the budget was also replete with instances of double taxation.

“There is already an existing communication tax on “Momo” and yet additional tax is being exacted.

The sad thing is with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) digitization of tax payments through “momo” and other E-transactions.

It means that if I am paying my GRA tax through “momo”, additional taxes are exacted from this transaction.
We will only revert to going back to the GRA offices for cash payments of taxes,” he explained to GNA.

Mr. Azongo pointed out that budgets were policy activation tools to stimulate economic growth.

“With government having made digitization its flagship policy to transform the economy, it cannot turn around to impose such taxes that would have negative repercussions for these lofty goals,” he stated.

Mr. Azongo said the “momo” tax was to all “intent and purposes a very regressive tax regime”, and called on the government to take a second look at it.

On the YouStart initiative introduced in the 2022 budget to create opportunities for the youth to venture into entrepreneurship, Mr Azongo questioned what had happened to the National Entrepreneurial and Innovation Programme (NEIP), the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Authority (GYEEDA) and such other convoy of programmes introduced in the past to help the youth create employments for themselves.

He said it was time for the state to take pragmatic and practical measures that would really help the youth to find jobs and contribute to the development of the country.