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Business News of Friday, 20 March 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Help us pay our employees – Hotels Association calls on govt


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The President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah Nyameke, has urged government to assist hotels in salary payments to bailout the industry which is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotel industry is currently embracing a wave of despair as a result of the coronavirus hitting hard on their operations. The unprecedented fall-off in demand is making the Ghana Hotels Association seek direct aid for hospitality industry workers.

Speaking to GhanaWeb, Dr. Edward Ackah Nyameke said there is the need for government to support hotels to pay its workers as demand for their products keep declining amidst covid-19 outbreak.

“We have been paying taxes to government over a long period of time. These are critical moments and it will be prudent we got some shield from the state. Government must provide a sort of leverage with regards to salary payments. Some people will say, as a business, there are good times and bad times so hotels should learn to contain it. Our real concern is about the staff, the people who get their daily bread from working in the various hotels.”

In Ghana, some hotel managers have started laying off casual workers due to low patronage. These job cuts, the hotels association president explains, is not deliberate.

“Hotels will not be able to pay them because clients are cancelling bookings and it is these same monies that workers are paid with. Hotels are forced to lay off workers because they are unable to pay staff amidst the pandemic”.

He also stressed the need for government to release a stimulus package for the sector to help fight the coronavirus’s fallout.

“We are looking at VAT rate being reduced if possible, is it possible to even adjust the electricity and water tariffs, and is it possible to look at suspending the payment we make to regulatory bodies including property rates and similar costs, that’s what we want to know now”. We want government to offer some relief by way of tax cuts to prevent a complete shutdown of their facilities,” noted.

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