Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the general secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has lashed out at the government for replacing old taxes with new ones in the 2022 Budget, describing the action as regressive.
However, speaking to the media after the Minister for Finance presented the Budget to Parliament on Wednesday, Nketiah commended the government for scrapping road tolls and introducing innovative ways to charge property taxes.
“Those who have money in difficulties like this, you tax those ones, and then those who can barely make ends meet, you give them some stimulus package.
“So, cancelling the road tolls and bringing in E-tax is a regressive move,” Nketiah said.
He added: “[But] I am happy they spoke about the need to tap in to property rate. Of course, that is a very progressive way of taxing, because there is a real-estate boom and many of the properties have not been valued for years and so on.
“It is an area that must be taxed, rather than introducing new taxes.”
Mobile money charges to go up
Meanwhile, the government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, told Parliament: “Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%, which shall be borne by the sender except for inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.”
“This new policy comes into effect from 1 February 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy.”
As of January 2021, 38.9% of the population aged 15 years and older had a mobile money account in Ghana.
The share of mobile money users increased over the previous three years but decreased slightly in 2021 from 39% in 2020.