January 16, 2022

Group calls for exemption of transfer payments for school fees in E-Levy Bill

Nana Kwadwo Dwamena, Co-founder and Programs Manager of the Young Africans for Opportunities (YAFO), has called on the Government to exempt transfer payments for school fees at tertiary institutions in the E-Levy bill currently before parliament.

He noted that the E-Levy bill has created certain exemptions, however, excludes transfer payment for school fees at public and private tertiary institutions.

He explained that the increased use of mobile money meant that E-Levy would affect every individual who engages in electronic transfer, including students and parents who would be paying fees and other costs via banks and mobile money transfers.

According to him, there was the need to consciously exclude students who may rely on such transfers to pay their school fees and since the Government has already exempted transfers for payment of taxes, fees, and charges on Ghana – GOV activities, it would be prudent to expand the exemption to cushion students and parents especially, during payment of school fees and other bursaries to public universities.

“Government has no source of money other than to borrow our future savings or by taxing us more, either way, citizens would pay.  Adam Smith, the father, and classical liberal economist has stated that ‘there is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of people’”, he stated.

Mr Dwamena who made the call in a statement said the problem with the Government spending was that it is inefficient in neither knowledge nor budget whiles the Government spends other people’s money on someone else hence, giving little or no incentive to spend wisely.

He argued that the introduction of the E-Levy bill in Ghana only confirms the determination to increase government revenue and spend more, adding that though the E-Levy has generated public uproar from the majority of Ghanaians, the Government was bent on doing everything possible to carry on its agenda and including the shadow economy in the tax net which is estimated to generate GHc 6 billion in revenue for the government.

He highlighted that the E-levy bill despite everything has seen the need to create certain exemptions as provided under section 2 of the Bill to include the cumulative transfer of $15 (GHc 100.0) made per day by the same person, transfer between the accounts owned by the same person, electronic payment for taxes, fees, and charges to government, specified merchant payment, and transfer between a principal, agent and master-agent account.

He, therefore, deemed it important to exclude transfers for the payment of school fees at the tertiary level, including private tertiary education institutions since it would be helpful to cushion students and parents from the double agony of school fees payment and E-levy charges on school fees payment.

“It is imperative that exempting school fees payment would not only deepen government commitment to education but would lessen the tax burden on students as well”, he emphasized.

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