Well-meaning and informed Ghanaians,are skeptical about the argument that the introduction of the E-Levy, is the most sustainable way for boosting public finances because the government cannot afford to borrow more at this time to fund projects.
For them, it is more like a broken record. It is a story they have heard anytime government introduces a new tax or increases an existing one.
In the considered opinion of this newspaper, leakages have contributed significantly to the low revenue base of the country, not forgetting corruption and mismanagement.
Every year, the Auditor General’s report, exposes the graft that goes on in the Ministries, Departments, agencies, as well as metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, yet no one is held to account for anything.
We recall that, the Auditor General, said in his latest report released in August this year that, a total amount of ¢12.85 billion irregularities equivalent of $918.28 million was committed in 2020 by public boards, corporations and other statutory institutions.
According to the report, the irregularities include outstanding debtors, cash irregularities, payroll irregularities, tax irregularities, procurement irregularities, stores irregularities and contract irregularities.
From the report, the total irregularities figure of ¢718.08 million in 2016 increased to ¢12.002 billion in 2017. The irregularities declined by ¢8.99 billion in 2018 to ¢3.007 billion.
However, the total irregularities increased by 81.8% from the 2018 figure of ¢3.007 billion to ¢5.46 billion in 2019.
Instead of putting more burden on the already stressed economy, due partly to the effect of Covid-19, the government should find ways of blocking leakages and corruption.
Additionally, the government should also look for other creative ways of improving revenue other than the dilatory approach of increasing or adding more taxes.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, who should have been in parliament to lend support to his Members of Parliament, has found his voice and is also commenting on the 2022 budget and condemning the minority, instead of advising the government to beam its searchlight on fighting corruption.
In the considered opinion of this newspaper, this tax is obnoxious, insensitive and capable of placing more financial burden on the ordinary Ghanaian who is already suffering the hardship brought by rising food prices and general cost of living.