A group calling itself the Social Justice Movement (SJM) in the Upper East Region has called on the government to as a matter of urgency reverse its decision to ensure that children of parents who do have Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) will not be denied the opportunity to access the Free Senior High School (SHS)programme.
The Movement stressed that in as much as it appreciated government’s objective to collect taxes to pay for social services, it did not think the approach by the government to exempt students whose parents have not registered for the TIN was the right way to raise revenue for the government.
The Movement made the call in a press release signed and issued to the Media at Bolgatanga by its Convenors, Mr Richard Asueme and Mr Nyeya Yen on Saturday,25th November 2018.
“The action of the government will inadvertently affect students from poor backgrounds. It is important to mention that millions of Ghanaians live in rural areas and are often subsistence farmers. If this action is implemented it will affect students from poor background. Often it is people from poor backgrounds who have problems registering for such schemes”, it emphasised.
It called on the government to take cognisance of the fact that even with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) registration, it takes days if not weeks for people to register for the scheme.
The statement stated that for the government to come out with the TIN registration and expect people from all walks of life, especially the poor people in rural areas to register with the scheme before their children could benefit from the Free SHS Programme would defeat the purpose of the programme if implemented.
“There are several ways by which government can get people to register for TIN and not threatening them with withdrawals of free SHS to their children if they do not register for TIN. Government must ensure through its revenue agencies register people for TIN and not use the qualification of free SHS for TIN registration,” the SJM stressed.
It, therefore, called on the government to immediately rescind its decision and find alternative ways to encourage Ghanaians to register with TIN.
According to members of the Movement, the SJM had branches across all the 10 regions of the country and had among its objectives of ensuring fairness, equity and social and economic justices for all for all Ghanaians particularly the vulnerable.