Covid-19: Parliament approves Ghc174m tax waiver for health workers

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Parliament has approved an amount of Ghc174 million as tax waiver on income taxes and additional allowances for frontline health workers in the country.

The waiver, which covers for the months of July, August, and September 2020, form part of government’s measures to support frontline personnel involved in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government, in March, announced that all health workers would not pay taxes on their emoluments for a 3months period commencing April 2020, and extended to September. Additionally, all frontline health workers would also receive an additional allowance of 50 percent of their basic salary per month tax-free for the period.

The request for the approval was presented to Parliament on 11th August, 2020 by Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei-Asare on behalf of Minister, and subsequently referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.

The Finance Committee’s report noted that, the number of health workers who fell into the “frontline” category for the months of April, May and June 2020 were 6091, 7418, and 7196 respectively with corresponding expenditure on the additional allowances being GHc6.5 million, GHc7.5 million and GHc7.6 million for the months of April, May and June 2020 respectively.

The committee’s Chairman, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah in presenting the report to the House, indicated that, of the total amount, personal emoluments for the health workers is estimated at Ghc168  million, with Ghc5 million as additional allowances.

“The committee observed that the tax incentives is designed as a  ‘token compensation’ to encourage healthcare workers, especially frontline health personnel to continue to make sacrifices in caring for those infected those infected with the virus, and in caring for the sick in general during these difficult times,” Dr. Assibey Yeboah said.

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