As you may be aware, the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly began its 2-day ordinary meeting of the 2nd session of the 8th Assembly on the 27th of July, 2021.
The 2 days meeting afforded members of the August house, the opportunity to conduct full business of the house,including but not limited to MCE’s sessional address & Authority’s Report and subsequent discussions and adoption of same in line with conventions.
In his sessional address read for him, the MCE touched extensively on a number of critical issues of development and welfare including security and traditional stability; revenue mobilization and related matters; sanitation among others.
A member was on the floor to move for the adoption of the address for further deliberation in line with conventions but was interrupted by what appeared to be preliminary objections relative to the address and Authority’s Report.
The House raised concerns about what they described as lack of full complement of various committee reports in the sessional address.
Meanwhile the house has, in the course of proceedings, confirmed the previous minutes and subsequently triggered discussions on same.
Hon. members later took turns to raise concerns about issues of interest including seeking clarification on any matter deemed necessary.
Where necessary scheduled officers were prompted to respond to any issue so raised.
In the course of proceedings, the PM gave an indication for a motion to be moved which motion was duly seconded to amend the agenda to include briefings from officials of the GRA.
Accordingly, an officer from the Authority, Mr Seth Kwei was on the floor of the house to make a presentation on taxable incomes of public office holders including exemption regime.
Relevant regulation and Acts of parliament were carefully read out by the officer in order to drive home his message about the subject matter.
This apparently triggered what could best be described as a heated dabate on the justification for the inclusion of allowances of Hon. Members in the tax net. In the opinion of many, the tax on their allowances must simply be scraped to help matters.
In one of his responses to series of questions the GRA officer was emphatic when he intimated that for as long as the description on the money so paid to Hon. Members remains sitting allowance it is taxable according to the laws of the Republic of Ghana.
Notwithstanding the obviously unresolved concerns of the house, the contention had to be put to rest so as to make way for the conduct of the rest of the business of the house.
The Hon. PM then signaled the August house in to discussion on the MCE’s sessional address as well as Authority’s Report.
After 2 days of purposeful deliberations, which ended on 28th July, sitting was adjourned unconditionally, but with the realization of necessary approval and consideration including far-reaching action points to help accelerate the development of the Metropolis.