Expedite action on the passage of Exemptions Bill into law – TUC tells government

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says the government must expedite action on the passage of the Exemptions Bill into law to help save revenue for the state.

Dr Yaw Baah, Secretary-General of the TUC, who made the call during the 2020 Post Budget-Forum for the TUC Leadership, in Accra yesterday, said the law was long overdue and must be passed into law.

The programme organised by the TUC was under the auspices of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation was attended by representatives of the Ghana National Association of Teachers and other organised labour groups.

Dr Baah said the passage of the Exemption Bill into law would help the country to save a lot of revenue for national development.

Though the TUC General Secretary could not quote any figure, he said, the country lost millions through tax exemptions.

“The passage of the Exemptions Bill will help state to generate a lot of revenue to finance the numerous programmes the government is implementing,” he said.

Dr Baah entreated the government to take the lead to create jobs for the youth since the private sector could not do so now.

He said the private sector should be supported with the necessary incentives to help them to create jobs for the youth.

He said growing unemployment was becoming a national security threat and efforts must be made by the state to create jobs for the teeming unemployed.

Dr Baah said government could employed more youth into the police, Education and Health sectors.

According to the TUC General Secretary, the current Police-Civilian ratio which stood at one Police Officer to thousand civilians was not the best when the West-African Sub-Region was reporting a lot cases of attacks of insurgents.

Asked whether the 2022 budget and economic policy of government met the expectation of the TUC, Dr Baah said he could not say immediately.

“We are now going to review the 2022 budget and the economic policy of government and it is after the review that we present our view on the 2022 budget,” he said.

In his presentation of the review of the 2020 budget and economic policy of government, the Director the Labour Policy Research Institute of the TUC, Dr Kwabena  Nyarko Otoo, said the TUC made  a of proposals into the budget and some reflected in the government and others did not.

According to him, the proposal by the TUC for the government impose a special tax on the mining companies to raise more revenue was not heeded.

He said the proposal for the Cost of Living Allowance for workers on the Single Spine was not heeded.

“Our proposal for a National Productivity Week for the social partners to discuss measures to promote productivity in the country was not captured in the 2022 budget,”DrOtoo said.

On the E-Levy, he said the tax was not progressive as both the rich and the poor would payment the same.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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