Labour group wants government to widen tax net

The Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL) has appealed to government to devise a mechanism to widen the tax net to  rope in many businessmen and businesswomen in the informal sector who have been evading tax.

This, the Council hoped would go a long way to relieve workers in the formal sector, who have over the years carried the tax burden alone.

The Council’s appeal was contained in petition signed jointly by Mr Wilson Agana and Mr Ebenezer Kodwo Taylor, Chairman and Secretary of the group, respectively to President John Evans Atta Mills, copied to GNA in Tema.

The petition suggested  that  “as was done with adjustment in fuel prices by the National Petroleum Authority and prices of utilities by the PURC, the necessary arrangement must be put in place for the tax threshold and tax bands on incomes and salaries to be reviewed annually by the National Tripartite Committee,”

On the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), the Council appreciated the interest of the Presidency in the recapitalization of the refinery, and pleaded with him to expedite action on the release of funds to ensure the regular supply of crude oil to TOR.

Regarding the Tema General Hospital, the TDCL urged government to order the immediate transfer of   its medical director, because the Council alleged that the director’s “poor human relations, coupled with her de-motivational behavior,”  has resulted, among other factors,  in the closing down of the maternity ward; the exodus of qualified and experienced doctors to private clinics and the low morale of nurses and other health workers at the hospital.

Concerning the Tema Shipyard and Drydock , the Council commended government for its intervention and total take-over of the company, but bemoaned the slow pace at which the transition was going for an eventual take-over.

“Our concern is that government implements the Committee’s report to the letter, by handing over the administration of the Company to Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, with SSNIT as partners, for the eventual Ghanaian ownership.”

The Council expressed shock and dismay at the disregard some foreign investors had  for the 1992 Constitution and  the National Labour Act, by trampling on the fundamental human rights of their employees thus denying them the right to unionize and that : “They do this by threatening the workers of dismissals, among other acts of unfair labour practices.”

The TDCL asked government to look into these issues and apply the appropriate sanctions to those companies found culpable, since the Council would not sit unconcerned for Ghanaian workers to be denied their rights.

The Council lauded the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive and the Assembly for trying to improve the road network, but hoped contractors in the metropolis, would expedite action on work to improve road net work, to facilitate the swift movement of goods and services.

Source: GNA

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