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Majority of Ghanaians oppose e-levy, not confident it will fund development programmes, new Afrobarometer study shows

Three-fourths of Ghanaians disapprove of the recently passed electronic transaction levy
(e-levy), a new Afrobarometer survey shows.

The government introduced the e-levy on 1 May in a bid to widen the tax net.

However, a large majority of Ghanaians think it is a bad idea and will mean a greater tax burden
on citizens. Many do not trust that the government will use the revenues generated to fund development programmes, and citizens are almost evenly split as to whether they will continue to use electronic financial transactions.

The study also shows that a majority of Ghanaians believe there are several important goals that a tax revenue system must achieve, including ensuring that people understand the taxes they owe, reducing the tax burden, using tax revenues more
effectively, and ensuring that citizens and businesses pay taxes.

Key findings

▪ Three-fourths of Ghanaians disapprove of the e-levy, including 67% who “strongly
disapprove” of it (Figure 1). Only two in 10 (19%) endorse the new tax.

▪ A similar proportion (76%) think the e-levy is a bad idea because it will increase the
tax burden on the poor and ordinary citizens (Figure 2). This includes 63% who
“strongly agree” with this view.

▪ Three-quarters are also “not very confident” (24%) or “not at all confident” (51%) that
the government will fulfil its pledge to use the revenues generated by the e-levy to
fund development programmes (Figure 3).

▪ Faced with the e-levy, Ghanaians are about evenly split as to whether they will
continue to use electronic financial transactions (47%) or avoid using them (49%)
(Figure 4).

▪ A majority of Ghanaians agree that there are several important goals that a tax
revenue system must achieve, including ensuring that people understand the taxes
they owe (82%), reducing the tax burden (81%), using tax revenues more effectively
(83%), and ensuring that citizens and businesses pay taxes (79%) (Figure 5).

Afrobarometer surveys

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that provides reliable
data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life.
Eight survey rounds in up to 39 countries have been completed since 1999. Round 9 surveys
(2021/2022) are currently underway.

Afrobarometer’s national partners conduct face-toface interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice.

The Afrobarometer team in Ghana, led by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development,
interviewed a nationally representative sample of 2,400 adult Ghanaians in April 2022. A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points .

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