The government has been urged to endeavour to tax workers of various shrines and mosques if it wants to task workers of churches in the country.
The Presiding Bishop of Christ Healing Hand Ministry, Bishop Godwin Aaron Monyo, who gave the advice, added that, workers of shrines and mosques must also be made to contribute to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) for the benefit of their future.
The Bishop gave the advice in an interview with PrimeNewsGhana at the Church’s Annual Seven Days Prayer which also marked the 3rd Anniversary of the Church at Akatsi in the Volta Region.
The church, which started with about 80 people three years ago at Teshie Okpogono in Accra, now has about 3,000 members from thirty-seven branches in Greater Accra, Central, Eastern and Volta regions.
Bishop Monyo explained that people who work at shrines and mosques also become the burden on society when they grow old so it is incumbent on the state to register them and make sure they contribute towards SSNIT for their own benefit.
“What we call pay as you earn. Every worker who receives income must pay as he or she earns that income so they have to pay taxes”, he explained.
He added that “so the churches, the mosques and shrines, those who work there and earn a living must declare income and pay”.
“The same as we must pay the social security for all workers so the church must pay taxes of those working there and their social security”, he explained.
Bishop Monyo added that “it is a matter of asking all churches to register with the Registrar-General Department. Asking all mosques to register with the Registrar-General Department. Asking all shrines to register with the Registrar-General Department and declare all your workers to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The moment all workers are declared to the GRA, the GRA has audit department. They can go to the churches, mosques and shrines to declare all those who are working for you. Let see whether you pay their taxes and SSNIT or not”.
Bishop Monyo added that “because these people when they grow old, they become the liability of the state, the state must also go in and find out how much they pay for their taxes and SSNIT and if we do that, the society will develop”.
The Presiding Bishop said the building of the National Cathedral should not be at the expense of the tax payer because government has several responsibilities to the people of Ghana.
“In my opinion, the churches are building chapels already so if the state wants to build National Cathedral, I will not be for and I will not be against it”, he explained.
“If the nation has the resources for that, fine, because we need roads, hospitals. Ghana needs a lot of development projects. More schools are needed and if the government can send the resources to the hinter lands, it will help”, he added.
Bishop Monyo said “if there is going to be a national offering towards the National Cathedral so that the burden will not be on the tax payer, that will be good, but if the burden of the Cathedral will be on the tax payer, then we need to look at it again”.
“If they [government] ask the churches to come together to build a national prayer centre, the church can do that", he explained.
Pray for the nation
Bishop Monyo called on Ghanaians to support every government that comes to power for the development of this nation.
“As a Ghanaian, we should not pray for a failure of a particular government for another one to come to power”, he explained.
“For example, if the NPP fail for the NDC or CPP to come to power, it is the Ghanaian that will suffer under that failed government”, he added.
He charged on politicians to campaign within their means instead of given vague promises.