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Gov't To Introduce Free SHS Tax?   
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Member of Parliament for the Efutu, Hon Alex Afenyo-Markin
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Member of Parliament for the Efutu, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin has hinted that the Akufo-Addo administration will soon introduce a new system of taxation to sustain its free SHS policy.

According to him, the specific tax is geared towards ensuring that there is quality education in the country.

He said this during Tuesday's edition of Kokrokoo on Peace FM.

It would be recalled that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, while presenting the 2018 budget statement to Parliament in November, said government is in the process of setting up a fund to receive voluntary contributions from individuals to support the implementation of its flagship Free Senior High School programme, and the education sector as a whole. 

The move has been criticized mostly by members of the minority who say it has exposed government’s inability to secure the needed funding to sustain the programme.

The NPP MP, who in his submission appeared to re-echo the Finance Minister's comments on funding for the programme, albeit in a different light, believed if Ghanaians exhibit the same kind of nationalistic spirit and attitude by embracing taxes on free SHS, the programme can last a life time.

How did we fund health insurance? How did we fund the Youth Employment Agency Bill?” he rhetorically asked and further explained that the erstwhile Kufour government successfully rolled out and maintained policies like the health insurance scheme by implementing a tax regime which was widely supported by Ghanaians.

If Ghanaians are paying tax to sustain free SHS, it won’t be farfetched. It will help all of us…There’s a difference between nuisance tax and specific tax for specific purpose that we all know that these are the benefits. Do you think Ghanaians will oppose a free SHS tax where we will set up an implementation Committee to oversee to the transparent disbursement of these funds?” he added.

Also contributing to discussion on the issue on Kokrokoo was the National Vice Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Samuel Ofosu Ampofo who expressed varied views.

To him, the Mahama-NDC government's idea of progressive free education would have been the best solution to establish the programme.

He wondered why there should be "a tax imposition on Ghanaians to fund a project" that government claimed was fully prepared to roll out.

"....i support the free SHS policy, but i want the government to put right the measures in place to address challenges associated with implementation of the policy," he added.
Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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