The Minority in Parliament says it remains resolute in its pursuit of justice despite the Supreme Court’s dismissal of its injunction against the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy).
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, unanimously dismissed an E-levy injunction application filed by three members of the Minority Caucus in Parliament, which sought to block the implementation of the tax measure.
The MPs – Haruna Iddrisu, Mahama Ayariga, and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa– filed the E-levy injunction application on Tuesday, April 19, following the passage of the bill on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, despite a walkout by the Minority MPs.
They had sought to stop the government from implementing the levy until an earlier case they filed to challenge the passage of the law was determined by the apex court.
But the apex court by a 7-0 decision dismissed the application, ordering the Ghana Revenue Authority to keep accurate records of all E-levy deductions to enable a refund to payees if it is later determined that the law was passed unconstitutionally.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, shortly after the ruling addressed the media saying:
“For us in the Minority, until the substantive matter is determined conclusively, we remain determined that even on the balance of weighing monetary consideration against the weight of a constitutional bridge, the emphasis should be the harm we are doing to the 1992 constitution and the three organs of state. So whether some irreparable damage will be caused, our hardship is in respect to the constitution by the action of the passage into law of an Act without the minimum constitutional threshold.”
The Minority MPs had contended that the legal threshold for passage of such a bill was not met before it was passed.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority has already started implementing the 1.5% charge on mobile money and other electronic cash transactions.
The court, however, said the Republic would suffer a great deal if the government is temporarily stopped from deducting the levy from electronic transactions.
It however noted that mechanisms do exist within the current tax regime to refund payees who have either over-paid or wrongfully paid, and that must be taken advantage of.
The Court was composed of Nene Amegatcher as President, Her Ladyship Mariama Owusu, His Lordship Professor Ashie Kotey, Her Ladyship Gertrude Torkornoo, Her Ladyship Lovelace Johnson, His Lordship Emmanuel Yony Kulendi, and Her Ladyship Professor Henrietta Mensah Bonsu.