Education Minister Says 'No TIN, No Free SHS' Report "False"
Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, has denied media reports that schoolchildren whose parents are without a Tax Identification Number (TIN) will not benefit from the free senior high school programme.
The GNA reported on Tuesday that students enjoying the free Senior High School policy risk losing out by September 2019 if their parents fail to get Tax Identification Number (TIN) by that time.
Additionally, the GNA said people without the TIN cannot subscribe to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), acquire a passport, register their vehicles and lands, open bank accounts or access other public services.
Mr Anthony Selom Dzadzra, a Director at the Revenue Policy Division, Ministry of Finance, told the GNA on the sidelines of a Post-Budget Sensitisation workshop for journalists in Accra on Monday, 19 November that the directive was outlined in the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government.
In that regard, he said, every citizen that transacts business of any sort with any government institution and also accesses other social interventions must acquire a TIN to facilitate that process.
Mr Dzadzra said the enforcement of the directive would enable the government to generate sufficient revenue to propel its infrastructure development agenda.
“For us to go ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’, we have to generate revenue in this country and everybody needs to pay a little tax. Therefore, one of the ways of realising this is to make sure everybody is known through the TIN,’’ he said.
“This will enable the revenue authorities to easily identify taxpayers and those who have not been captured under the tax net.”
But Dr Opoku Prempeh has denied the claims saying it is not captured anywhere in the 2019 budget that qualified students will be prevented from benefiting from the free SHS policy if their parents do not have a TIN.
“As the Minister of Education, I cannot sit in this chamber for palpable falsity to be spewed. Where in this budget is it stated that if you don’t have TIN you cannot benefit from free SHS? You cannot make your own policy and announce on behalf of free SHS,” Dr. Opoku Prempeh said.