‘I was joking when I said Churches must be taxed’ – Bawumia

The New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) flagbearer, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has set the records straight on his statement about incentives for churches instead of taxes.

Amidst discussions about the possibility of imposing taxes on churches, Dr Bawumia announced his government would rather offer incentives to churches to undertake more development projects.
Dr. Bawumia in a meeting with the clergy in Bono region said he believes churches are better suited to partner with the government to drive the country’s development forward.

However, following the mixed reactions, the Vice President has said the statement was made in jest and has been taken out of context

“I made that statement within the context of acknowledging the significant contributions of churches and other faith-based institutions to the country, including the construction of schools, hospitals, and other vital infrastructure.

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“Look at the number of hospitals the churches have built. Look at the number of universities the churches have built and faith-based organisations have built. Look at the number of people the churches and faith-based organizations take care of on a daily basis,” Dr Bawumia explained.

Addressing clergy members in the North East Region on Monday, he stressed the statement has been misunderstood.

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“Can you imagine, just take a thought for a moment that you wake up tomorrow and all the schools, universities, and hospitals the churches have built disappear? They just disappear. How would Ghana be like? Ghana will collapse. Isn’t it? We will not survive in this sort of situation because there will be chaos.

“So at that point I was joking, and I said, oh…people are talking about taxing churches. I don’t believe, and we will not tax churches. Because if you look at the work the churches have done, then I was joking then, maybe we should have actually paid them for what they did, not really trying to tax them. But I wasn’t really saying we should pay churches, no. I am saying that we should give incentives to churches to do more,” he clarified.

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