We Can’t Have It Both Ways, Folks!

I’m sometimes amazed at the contradictory nature of my compatriots. We, as a people, demand to have all the fine things life has to offer, yet are unwilling to make a little sacrifice to make those demands see the light of day. Simply put, we want everything given to us on a platter of gold.

I’m neither a politician nor a diplomat, so I can afford not to be too politically correct. Indeed, I will call a spade by its real name and damn the consequences.

Without a doubt, the proposed E-Levy in the 2022 Budget Statement has ruffled many feathers. Obviously so because no one, not even the very wealthy in society, wants to pay tax. So it is understandable to see my folks agitate for the suspension of the E-Levy.

But it becomes intriguing when soon after chrousing ‘scrap the E-Levy’, my folks start singing ‘we need roads, schools, hospitals etc’. Such blatant contradiction from my kith and kin makes me wonder if they are really thoughtful and sincere.

In one breath you demand good roads, schools, hospitals, increment in salary, better working conditions and regular electricity and water supply. The government listens to your cry and innovatively develops a way to raise funds to satisfy your demands. Then in another breath you rise up and resist the new way to raise funds to satisfy your request. I honestly cannot understand the reasoning behind such contradictory actions!

I’m sad to say this, but it is the truth: many of those singing ‘scrap the E-Levy’ chorus are doing so ignorantly. Some are singing along because it is a party chorus, while others simply enjoy the tune. Resisting the levy for party sake or for the fun of it, either way, the ignorance is too glaring to ignore.

For the first time in decades, the good people of Sunyani were compelled to bare their teeth to government following years of neglect in terms of developmental projects. Key among the issues raised were bad road network in the capital and lack of basic social amenities, such as potable water and recreational facilities.

The demonstration has come late, but it’s better late than never. Many agree the people of Sunyani deserve better than what they have now. But the million cedi question is: will they support the introduction of E-Levy to speed up the development they so desire, or join in singing ‘scrap the E-Levy’ chorus?

Same question for the Angel Carbonu led NAGRAT threatening a strike action and any other body demanding increment in salary and better conditions of service. Difficult as it may seem, all have to make a choice between the two options because we cannot have it both ways. We cannot be making more demands on government and still resist reasonable attempt by same to raise funds to satisfy our insatiable demands.

Looking at the road upliftment deficit across the length and breadth of the country, I entreat the government to remain steadfast and go ahead with the introduction of the E-Levy. The expected GHC 7billion yearly revenue will definitely serve as a catalyst to infrastructural development in the country.

As for ‘things are hard’, it is a common tune in Asomdwekrom. Every previous Christmas brought better sales than what the next brings, according to the Ghanaian trader. Meanwhile, they complained bitterly in the previous year.

Same principle applies to the electorate in Kwame Okro’s Homeland. I vividly remember how President J.A. Kufuor was called wicked, insensitive and incompetent. But are the same people not singing his praises today?

I have no doubt that posterity will judge the Nana Dee government favourably, even though some are complaining today. Efficient use of the E-Levy proceeds will make posterity’s judgement even more favourable.

As for those opposing the introduction of the E-Levy, be reminded that you cannot have it both ways since you cannot eat all your cake and expect to still have it.

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!