The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo Prampram, Sam Nartey George, has called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to stop the collection of taxes for purposes of a Cyber Security Authority which is yet to be established.
The MP for Ningo Prampam, who is a member of Parliament’s Select Committee on Communications, raised red flags over the Communications Service Tax (CST), a portion, which is supposed to be used for cybercrime fight.
The MP said that promise has not materialised despite the introduction of the tax and chastised Minister of Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, over attempts to hoodwink Ghanaians.
Mrs Ekuful, who was spearheading the tax hike explained among other things that part of the revenue generated will be used to combat cybercrime.
In a supplementary budget presented to Parliament in July 2019, Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, announced a 50 per cent increase in the CST from six per cent to nine per cent.
Addressing the 7th edition of the Truth Forum, organised by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)in Accra, the MP observed that when the tax increment was announced, “the Minister for Communications promised the revenue was to support the Cyber Security Authority. Not that we believed her”.
“But the 2020 budget has exposed her prank on Ghanaians. The 2020 budget is silent on the formation of the Cyber Security Authority. In fact, only GHS10 million out of the whopping GHS436, 540,000 to be collected from CST has been allocated to the Cyber Security Authority,” the MP stated.
Mr George is therefore requesting that “until legislation for the Cyber Security Authority is put before Parliament and passed, any revenue collection in its name must cease”.
“In any case why must the Cyber Security Authority be funded solely by the taxpayer and not with contributions from private entities such as banks who are also facing challenges with cyber-attacks? He questioned.
“Enough of the fleecing of Ghanaians for the interests of private and foreign business interest. The President and Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful must put Ghanaians first over whatever business interests they may have.
“We remain citizens not spectators and demand that our President and his government also become citizens and not sleeping spectators,” he explained.