We spent Ghc36.8 million on tax exemptions for frontline workers-Ofori-Atta
Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, has disclosed that the government has so far spent a total amount of Ghc36.8 million on tax exemptions granted for frontline workers.
To mitigate the negative impact of the outbreak he said the government employed 38,000 additional nurses.
He said Ghc10.1 billion and 4.8 million households were provided with free water and electricity respectively.
To facilitate the reopening of schools, the government provided 11 million students with essential supplies such as face masks, hand sanitisers among others.
He said the cost of managing the outbreak has been very expensive.
He added that not a single government worker was laid off despite the negative impact of the virus.
He said: ”Mr. Speaker, to mitigate the health impact of the pandemic, Government also employed additional 38,000 nurses. Tax exemptions worth GHȼ36.8 million were also granted to our frontline staff while 10.1 million and 4.78 million households were provided with free water and electricity, respectively.
To facilitate the mass reopening of schools, Government provided 11 million students and staff with essential supplies such as face masks, paper towels, liquid soap and hand sanitizers, all at great cost. Cooked meals were also provided to final year JHS Students in both public and private schools.
Mr. Speaker, these have been expensive. But, we knew that the cost of doing nothing and disrupting the education of our children for an entire academic year would have even been greater.
I am proud to announce that not a single Ghanaian public sector worker was laid off as a result of the impact of the pandemic on our public finances and we have managed to pay them monthly and we are grateful to the Unions for their cooperation in this regard.
Under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS), Ghana Enterprises Agency provided 302,001 successful applicants across various sectors and regions with loans amounting to GHȼ523.11 million.
Mr. Speaker, we also ensured payment of our obligations to contractors and provided payroll support to some State-owned Enterprises to guarantee jobs.”