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18.08.2005 Business & Finance

TDCL wants government to abolish tax on overtime


Tema, Aug. 18, GNA - Members of the Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL), had given the Government a one-month ultimatum to abolish taxes on overtime, incentives and bonuses for workers.

They have, however, threatened to go onto the streets and demonstrate, if this problem is not solved within the one-month period. The workers gave the ultimatum at a meeting with Mr Kofi Adda, Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment in Tema on Wednesday, after they had agreed to call off their intended demonstration during the early hours of the day.

The workers complained that due to the current economic hardships in the country, it was their overtime bonuses that supported them with their numerous family problems.

They said any pressure, therefore, in terms of taxes, would create serious inconveniences for them.

Apart from their concerns on taxes on overtime, the workers also raised issues like the tax threshold on incomes, minimum wage, high petroleum prices, as well as developments in the textiles industry.

Reacting to their concerns, Mr Adda said, government through its Poverty Reduction Strategy was working hard to ensure that salaries of workers were improved.

He added that, the new law on taxation, which was passed in the year 2004, had better prospects for workers. He, however, advised workers to be mindful of laid down rules on demonstrations, in order not to disturb the peace and stability that already existed in the country.

The Executive Secretary of the Ghana Employers Association, Mrs Rose Karikari Anang, called for an immediate implementation of the new law on overtime and bonuses.

She said overtime was important for employers because it helped them to achieve higher productivity, but pleaded with workers to give the National Tripartite Committee (NTC), some more time to find a lasting solution to their concerns.

The Deputy General Secretary (Operations), Trade Union Congress, Mr Kofi Asamoah announced that the NTC had put in place a committee to help solve problems in the textile industry.

He urged the Government to widen the tax net to cover the informal sector to reduce the burden on workers.