The Minister for Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, has quashed reports suggesting that children whose guardians do not have a Tax Identification Number (TIN) will not benefit from Free SHS.
The Finance Minister, Mr.Ken Ofori Atta, during the 2019 budget reading indicated that the Administration Act, 2016, lists many services and transactions that cannot be accessed by individuals without TIN.
Speaking on the floor, Mr. Ofori-Attah pointed out that compliance with the requirements has been low.
“In 2019, we will begin to apply sanctions to state and private entities that fail to enforce these TIN requirements. Additionally, the government, in providing social services and benefits provided by the state, will require beneficiaries or their guardians to have a TIN.
These will complement the current efforts by the GRA to get more persons and businesses on their radar”. He stated.
The Director of the Revenue Division at the Finance Ministry, Mr. Anthony Dzadra, has also subsequently advised parents who do not have the TINs to endeavour to get registered, or risk having their children and wards barred from benefiting from the free SHS programme, beginning from the 2019 academic year.
The issue was raised when the Minority Spokesperson on Education, Hon. Peter Nortsu Kotoe, during a budget debate, questioned government’s decision to exempt children whose parents did not have the TIN.
This seems not to have gone down well with the Education Minister on issue of TIN number by the government.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member for Bekwai Constituency, Hon. Joseph Osei-Owusu, indicated that there is no law in the country passed by the House, indicating that Ghanaians cannot enjoy anything unless they have the TIN number.
“People have opinions and they share it and the press picks it. If it becomes law it’ll come to his House”. He explained.
He added that the comment of no TIN, no free SHS is attributed to a Director who has no power to make law.