Joe Wise: Parliament can only do business today if Bagbin presides

Joseph Osei-Owusu
Joseph Osei-Owusu

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament says this government will not be able to do anything if Speaker Alban Bagbin does not preside over the business in Parliament.

The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has said he did not err in vacating the Speaker’s seat while presiding on Monday to vote to pass the controversial E-Levy under a certificate of urgency.

MPs on Monday shouted at each other and engaged in an open brawl in Parliament as Osei-Owusu vacated his seat to vote on the E-Levy.

The Minority contended that, under the standing orders of Parliament, Osei-Owusu, who was presiding yesterday, could not vote.

However, speaking with Kwaku Nhyira-Addo on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday (21 December), Osei-Owusu said: “The first thing we must understand is that as long as I remain a Member of Parliament, I can vote on any matter, the only time I lose my vote is when I’m presiding.

“The only time I lose my right to vote is when I am presiding [as Speaker] … if I am not presiding I retain the same rights as any other MP.

He added: “The only advantage the majority has over the minority is one vote. Anytime the Speaker is not around and the deputy takes over, then the majority is disadvantaged.”

Genesis of E-Levy

Presenting the 2022 Budget Statement in Parliament on Wednesday, the Finance Minister said the government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

Ken Ofori-Atta said the new charge will be known as the “Electronic Transaction Levy, or E-Levy”.

“Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%,” Ofori-Atta said, “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 and above had a mobile money account in Ghana.

The population share of mobile money users increased over the previous three years but decreased slightly in 2021 from 39% in 2020.

Fred Dzakpata

Asare Solomon Aristocrat
Asare Solomon Aristocrat

I’m Solomon, the CEO of Voix Of Ghana Media ( VOG MEDIA, and Aristocrat Charity Foundation ( ACF). Aside blogging, I am also a Forester, Philanthropist, a Publicist, and a Promoter.

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