27.2 C

Constitutional Review Committee Proposes Tax on President’s Salary, Makes Other Recommendations

Article 68 (5), of the 1992 Constitution which exempts the President from paying taxes on salary and other emoluments should be deleted, to mandate the President to pay tax

The President must pay tax on salary and emoluments according to a report by the committee tasked by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah–Bonsu to review the work of the 2011 Prof. Albert-Fiadjoe-led Constitutional Review Commission.

Presenting a report to Kyei Mensah–Bonsu at a stakeholders’ consultation, the Constitutional Review Consultative Committee, (a 12-member body set up in April last year) proposed a lot more recommendations for how many MPs should be elected to Parliament and ministerial appointments.

On the matter of the President paying income tax, the report recommended that Article 68 (5), of the 1992 Constitution which exempts the President from paying taxes on salary and other emoluments should be deleted, to mandate the President to pay tax.

- Advertisement -

“The amendment of this provision will trigger the necessary consequential amendment in the income tax law of the country. This will also reflect the principle of equity before the law and accord with the rule of law,” the report noted.

Join our WhatsApp Channel for more news

Further, emoluments for Article 71 holders (largely the President, Vice President, Ministers of State, Chief Justice, the Speaker, MPs) should be determined pursuant to a pre-determined formula, where an Independent Emolument Committee (IEC) is set up with representatives from various institutions, the report said.

Read Also: Payment of Salaries to Presidential Spouses Unconstitutional, Supreme Court Declares

- Advertisement -

The IEC will have representation from institutions such as the Public Services Commission, the Trades Union Congress, the Ministry of Finance, the Audit Service, and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission. The institutions shall nominate their representatives and the President shall appoint them.

“The mandate of this IEC shall be to prescribe an emolument formula for the emoluments of article 71 holders. This avoids the continuous setting up of committees to determine the emoluments of article 71 holders which is another charge on the public purse,” it said.

For Parliament, the report has recommended the capping of the legislative House, limiting it to only 277 MPs. This means, if Article 93 of the 1992 Constitution is amended, the total number of constituencies will not exceed 277 and successive governments may not be able to create new constituencies. Currently, Ghana’s Parliament has 275 MPs.

The capping recommendations also affect ministerial appointments, as the report recommends a limit to the size of government, particularly that a President can only appoint an upper limit of 25 ministers.

Deputy and Regional Ministerial positions should be considered redundant, the report has said, and therefore making recommendations for the abolishment of those positions to improve governmental efficiency.

“The President’s power to appoint deputy ministers should therefore be amended by deletion,” it said.

The setting of the Constitutional Review Consultative Committee (CRCC) stemmed from the many calls to review the current Constitution, especially after the commemoration of 30 years of the referendum adopting the 1992 Constitution.

The concerns have been that the current constitution allows the executive (the presidency) to wield too much power and the many loopholes in government structures.

“There are many other textual and operational aspects of our constitution that contain enough creases and wrinkles to warrant review,” Dean of the UG School of Law Prof Raymond Atuguba said in 2021 at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences lecture on the subject of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution.

While you're here, we just want to remind you of our commitment to telling the stories that matter the most.Our commitment is to our readers first before anything else.

Our Picks



Get the Stories Right in Your Inbox