The Minority will resist some taxes in the 2022 budget
This is the submission of North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
He insists that the hurried scrapping of tolls was because of backlash from the E-levy
North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has stressed that the Minority in Parliament will do all it takes to enforce existing rules and procedures including resisting the newly introduced Electronic tax known as E-levy.
According to him, the illegal and arbitrary decision by the government through the Ministry to immediately suspend road tolls was to buy the government some respite from the backlash that the E-levy had generated.
GhanaWeb monitored comments Ablakwa made late last week on Joy FM’s Top Story programme, when he said: “The E-levy, the MoMo tax, this budget is being called all sorts of names, the killer budget, (with) so many killer taxes. So they (the government) say that no tolls will be paid from immediate effect so that they can save face.
“So that the bitter pill which they are forcing down our throats, Ghanaians will accept it. We are not kids, we know what is going on. We will not allow Ghana to become a banana republic because of a few shenanigan lawbreakers,” he said of the tax.
He also rejected the explanation given by the Roads Minister that the suspension of tolls was more an administrative order and one meant to avert violent clashes between toll collectors and motorists. Adding that the order was in no way seeking to revoke the law that mandated it.
Speaker Alban Bagbin and the Minority MPs insist it was illegal to the extent that the 2022 budget had yet to be approved.
“Did you see any fisticuffs, did you see any conflict? Did the tollbooths become war zones as (the statement suggests?)… It is clear that this was just politics of face-saving – carrot and stick,” Ablakwa added.
What Ofori-Atta said about road tolls
“Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved,” Ken Ofori-Atta hinted while reading the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.
He added, “Over the years, the tolling points have become unhealthy market centres, led to heavy traffic on our roads, lengthened travel time from one place to another, and impacted negatively on productivity.
“The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.”
The Finance Minister stressed that, “a portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”