Parliament has approved an amount of Ghc174 million cedis as tax waiver on income taxes for front line health workers battling COVID-19 pandemic.
The waiver covers personal emoluments for the months of July, August and September 2020 respectively.
The approval is in line with President Akufo-Addo’s promise to give health workers additional allowances of 50% as tax-free on their basic salary per month.
The tax incentive was designed by government as token compensation to encourage healthcare workers, especially frontline health personnel to continue to make sacrifices in caring for those infected with Covid-19.
According to the Finance Committee report, the number of health workers who fell into the frontline category for the months of April, May and June 2020 were 6,091 , 7,418 , and 7,196 respectively with corresponding expenditure on the additional allowances being Ghc 6.5 million, Ghc 7.5 million, and Ghc 7.6 million for the month of April, May and June 2020 respectively.
Presenting the Finance Committee report, the Chairman, Dr Assibey Yeboah said personal emoluments is estimated at Ghc 168 million and additional allowances as Ghc 5 million
But Kumbungu MP Ras Mubarak raised concerns about the inclusion of BNI officials as frontline workers.
Speaking to Starr News, Mr. Mubarak argued the move is unjustifiable given agitations from some health workers over their exclusion.
But vice Chairman for the Committee on health Dr. Ayew Afriyie justified the move arguing some security personnel were included as Frontline workers as a result of the role they played in the Covid-19 fight.