Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has incurred the wrath of netizens after he admitted that the country has no money.
He said although the demands of public sector workers for salary increments are legitimate, the government has no money at the moment to settle them.
This, he admitted was the reason the government suggested that the E-levy be collected to revive the economy as the government takes other measures to meet the demands of Ghanaians.
Some analysts had predicted that the government was broke and had to cut down on expenditure, especially at the Presidency.
“I look at teachers and civil servants for example, and I will be the first to admit that the salaries are indecent, nobody will argue with that. At the same time, it is 60 percent of all the revenue we collect from 700,000 people [go into salary payment,] that is also a fact,” Ofori-Atta stated while speaking in Wa in the Upper West Region during the fourth townhall meeting on the E-levy, on Monday, February 21, he said
“So yes, there is a legitimate demand for more and there is a legitimate reality that there is no money. So what do we do as a society? Then you ask me to give you more salary, which is fine, then I say but it is your colleague civil servant as who collects the money collecting the money, so how can you be responsible for collecting the money, not collect it and then tell me to give you the money. That will be another issue.”
But some social media users who reacted to the comment of the Finance Minister had to remind him of how his cousin, President Akufo-Addo is misusing state funds.
Others descended on him over the failing economy while stated they E-levy would be resisted since the government has borrowed more and misused the funds.
Although Ofori-Atta reiterated the need for Ghanaians to support moves by the Akufo-Addo-led government to impose a tax on electronic transactions, some Ghanaians vowed to reject the Bill.
Initially proposed to be pegged at 1.75 percent, the government has now reviewed the rate to 1.5 percent but the levy is still facing resistance by a section of the Ghanaian public and the Minority in Parliament.
The government has since been on a tour of the country engaging the public in what has been christened ‘Government Townhall Meeting on E-Levy’ aimed at rallying support for the proposed tax policy.