The Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives, Ghana (UPNMG) has urged the government to extend the tax waiver offered to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
The group want an extension from September to December 2020.
In a statement, the UPNMG has argued that calls for an extension is in the right order and will motivate health workers to do more.
“We are at the peak of the political season, the disregard for Covid-19 safety protocols leading to the mass gathering of people has surged.
“Hence the risk of recording an overwhelming number of cases in the coming days have also become very high,” excerpts of the statement read.
The group also called on the government to fast track the negotiation process for the enhancement of the condition of service for nurses and midwives.
In April 2020, President Akufo-Addo announced that health workers in Ghana will be exempted from paying taxes for three months as they lead the West African nation in fighting pandemic.
“Government has also decided that all health workers will not pay taxes on their emoluments for the next three months, that is April, May and June.
“Furthermore, all frontline health workers will receive an additional allowance of fifty percent (50%) of their basic salary per month, that is for March, April, May and June.”
The government also announced free transportation for health workers in the capital Accra, Kumasi and Kasoa to last the entire duration of restrictions.
Below is the unedited full statement
The Union of Professional Nurses and Midwives, Ghana (UPNMG) acknowledges the effort by government to control the spread and to ameliorate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nurses and Midwives who put their lives on the line whiles other professionals were asked to stay at home.
Considering that political parties are at the peak of their political rallies, the mass gathering of people and the gross neglect of COVID-19 protocols coupled with the opening of our borders, point to only one direction, the country risks recording overwhelming number of cases in the coming days if care is not taken.
UPNMG commends our gallant Nurses and Midwives who are out there putting their lives on the line to ensure that Ghanaians are safe.
The History of Ghana can never be complete without the mention of the role we played in keeping the country and her citizens safe during the peak of the pandemic.
Ghana’s case count as at today, stands at 45,655 with 44,797 recoveries and 294 deaths. This high recovery rate can only be explained by the efforts of our hard-working Nurses and Midwives as well as other health professionals.
We thank the government for the tax exemption granted Nurses and Midwives and other health professionals from April 2020 which is expected to end in September 2020.
In as much as we acknowledge this effort, we call on government to extend the tax exemption to December 2020 and also consider capturing all Nurses and Midwives as frontline health workers to enjoy the 50% of their basic salary as allowance.
The extension of the tax waiver to December 2020 is justified by the number of COVID-19 cases recorded in Ghana and the fact that Ghana currently has the second highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the West and Central African Regions.
The extension will go a long way to motivate health workers to continue to do more. We would like to also use this opportunity to implore the government to fast track the negotiation process of the Condition of Service for Nurses and Midwives which has been ongoing for some time now.