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The flag bearer of the People's National Convention (PNC), Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama, has expressed his intention to provide tax relief to employers who engage the services of the physically challenged in their firms, should he win the election.
At the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) presidential encounter in Accra, he observed that many employers refused to employ individuals who were qualified but were physically challenged, a situation he described as discriminating.
Therefore, he said a PNC government would give tax benefits to companies that employ persons with disabilities “because some of the physically challenged are likely to work very well than the able persons”.
The PNC leader made the comment when he took his turn at the Presidential Encounter of the state’s broadcaster, GBC, in Accra, last Thursday.
The encounter is aimed at affording the presidential candidates for the December 7 polls an opportunity to inform the public, particularly Ghanaians, of their intentions for the country.
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), STAR-Ghana and the European Union (EU) assisted GBC to organise the programme.
The Presidential Encounter has also hosted Mr John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the leader of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Ndoum.
Since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, the PNC leader said, of all the political parties contesting the election in December, three of them: the PNC, the NDC, and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), had contested in all the six general elections of which the NDC and the NPP had been tried and tested, leaving the PNC which was yet to be given the mandate to rule.
That notwithstanding, he said, Ghanaians had been receiving and benefiting from his messages, including the School Feeding Programme and the creation of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; hence, “It will be better to endorse the messenger by voting for the PNC and enjoying good governance.”
“New Beginning, New Deal and New Force” is the PNC’s slogan, which Dr Mahamasaid he was optimistic could get Ghana out of what he described as its economic crises and “restore our national dignity so we can complete our socio-economic ambitions.”
The PNC leader said he was going to support the youth with seed capital to engage in entrepreneurship.
He also observed that the youthful population in the country had so much potential and resourcefulness, which had been left untapped, and it was seriously holding back development.
The PNC leader lamented how the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was being managed and pledged to revamp the scheme when voted into power.
According to him, the scheme could not properly address the health needs of its providers because of financial constraints.
In view of that, if he is given the mandate come December 7, he will ensure that the 2.5 per cent of the Value Added Tax (VAT), which is used to support the running of the scheme, will be controlled and managed by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), unlike the current situation where the money is kept in the Consolidated Fund and managed by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).
The MoF, he explained, was going to serve as a conduit for the funds, through which the 2.5 per cent VAT would go to the NHIA, “Because the authority is the management mandated to supervise the fund, not the MoF.”
Still on NHIS, he said some revenue from the oil funds would also be allotted to support the running of the scheme for its financial viability.
On education, Dr Mahama disclosed his intention to introduce ‘Thinking’ as a subject of study at the basic level if he was given the mandate to govern.
According to him, the economic condition of the country has been is caused by the "mismanagement" of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the attitude of some Ghanaian youth point to the lack of right thinking.”
Therefore, the subject would focus on teaching Ghanaian children about the resources the country, and how these resources could be harnessed for the benefit of the whole country.
If Dr Mahama wins the December polls, his first commitment would be to address the power crises and sign the Freedom of Information Bill (FIB) to law.
Dr Mahama appealed to Ghanaians to vote for him and start afresh because “Ghana is yet to be liberated from its economic crises, and the big six have endorsed me with the sixth position on the ballot paper.”
“Last year, the country spent about $300 million importing rice. When I am voted as president, I am going to support Ghanaian rice farmers with $400 dollars to reduce the importation,” he promised.
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