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HomeGeneral NewsE-levy: Even Almighty God takes tithe once - Sam George

E-levy: Even Almighty God takes tithe once – Sam George

Government intends to introduce the e-levy if the 2022 budget is approved

The levy would cover all electronic transactions on digital platforms

Sam George says this will prove to be counterproductive to the digitization agenda of government

Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, has condemned the government for introducing the Electronic Transaction Levy otherwise known as the e-levy in 2022, stating that even God requires Christians to pay tithe once on their income.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, while presenting the 2022 budget on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, mentioned that the government was introducing the e-levy to be “used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure, among others”.

According to the budget statement, electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%, which the sender shall bear except for inward remittances, which the recipient will bear.

Reacting to the controversial levy on TV3’s “New Day” morning show, Sam George said the levy would be counterproductive to the government’s plan to create a digital economy considering the rippling effect on transactions.

“Even as recently as four years ago, you will go to Makola, you go to shops and want to pay with Mobile Money, and they will refuse to collect it. People didn’t want it. It’s taken a lot to get people to appreciate the value of using e-money. This is a government whose policy direction does not match its rhetoric. You tell us your Bank of Ghana is looking to introduce a digital currency…an e-cedi.”

“How do I use an e-cedi when you are taxing payments on electronic transactions? How silly can you be?… If you say something is silly, it is not an insult. It is a statement of fact. It is silly that you are acting counterproductively. The fact that you are trying to tell me you are building a digital economy and you are trying to put in blockers for people using it is a silly thing.

“Even Almighty God, if I get 50,000 Ghana Cedis…if someone gives me 50,000 or I work and get paid 50,000, my tithe is 5,000 Ghana Cedis…I pay it once. Almighty God, who gives me breathe and keeps me alive…Atta Naa Nyum)…I pay tithe once to Him on that 50,000. But if Nana Akufo-Addo and Bawumia…president and vice, I earn 50,000 and TV3 is to pay me 50,000…on paying me that 50,000, TV3 in transferring that money will pay 1.75 on that 50,000.

“When I get that 50,000 and I want to put 10,000 on my mobile money, on that same 50,000 I pay 1.75 on the 10,000. Then I want to then pay my tithe [5,000] to God [through phone], I will pay 1.75 on that again. I want to send money to my mother; I will pay 1.75 for that. You don’t create blockers to people using a system,” he contended.

Meanwhile, the Minority has vowed to oppose the government’s move to introduce the levy.

Commenting on the budget statement, ranking member on the finance committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, indicated that the levy will “only increase hardship and compromise inward remittance.”

He mentioned that the Minority will thus “stand by Ghanaians in opposing the momo tax.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com



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