Mineworkers Union opposes taxes on retirees’ terminal benefits

The Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) has expressed regret that terminal benefits paid to retirees in the country attract tax, a Resolution issued by the Union’s National Executive Council said on Thursday.

The Union also said it detests taxes imposed on incomes such as rent, leave and travelling allowances, saying these critical incomes by Ghanaians should be tax exempt.

A copy of the Resolution made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said, “Drawing on the recent Danish report, the GMWU expects government to be strict on the financial reports produced by international businesses in Ghana for the purposes of taxation.”

In addition, it said the Union shared the view that mining companies and other extractive industries must be made to pay special windfall taxes when commodity prices reach unprecedented peak in any given period.

“The current gold price behavior attests to this. Revenue generated from this could be used as a source of revenue to address the infrastructural deficit in the mining economies,” the statement said.

The National Executive Council passed the Resolution at its recent meeting held at AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi from December 9 – 10, 2010, after careful consideration of issues of importance to the nation, the mining industry and labour.

The statement said the Union sees the shortage of skills in the mining industry worldwide as important issue that needed swifter response in dealing with the industry’s human capital deficit.

It called for expedite action on the numerous unresolved cases before the National Labor Commission over a period of three years and enjoined the Ghana Trades Union Congress to ensure the Commission dealt with those disputes.

The statement called on Government to ratify ILO Convention 176 which deals with safety and health in mines in order to ensure a tripartite interaction at various mines and to address any inherent deficit in the existing mining regulations.

It therefore supported the Vice President’s position that businesses could not be proud of their successes at the expense of poor environmental management.

The GMWU, statement said, supports the call by the Western Regional House of Chiefs for a 10 per cent stake in oil receipts, saying cognizance must be taken of the infrastructural deficit in the mining economies.

“The lack of planned developmental agenda that has seriously affected towns like Akwatia, Prestea, Bibiani, Tarkwa, among others make the call by the Chiefs imperative.”

Source: GNA

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