Data Collectors for the 2024 Census Petition GBOS Regarding Tax Deductions

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Data Collectors and Supervisors convened in Brikama to voice their concerns regarding tax deductions.

By: Alieu Ceesay 

More than five thousand data collectors and supervisors employed by The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBOS) have submitted a petition to the Statistician General of GBOS, expressing grave concerns over the Bureau’s move to deduct taxes from their wages, an action they describe as unlawful according to the country’s laws.

In a petition shared with The Alkamba Times, the signatories, mainly young individuals, assert that the deductions are not in accordance with The Gambia’s Income Tax Regulations and will impose undue financial strain on the data collectors who have earnestly dedicated their efforts to this national task.

The data gathered by these young individuals will assist the government and development partners in planning various social services, including education, health, housing, and sanitation. The census encompasses all citizens and non-citizens residents within the country.

The Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBOS) is legally required to conduct a population and housing census every decade. This year, enumerators will earn D1,200 daily for 21 days, whereas supervisors will receive D1,400 daily.

According to GBOS authorities, a 10% tax deduction will be applied to each enumerator and supervisor, a decision that has met with dissatisfaction among many participants. Data collectors have begun to protest with the slogan “No to taxation,” emphasizing that past census activities did not involve such taxation.

One of the group’s leaders expressed disappointment and concern over the financial burden this taxation will impose. “We believe that these deductions are not by the Income Tax Regulations of The Gambia and will cause undue financial hardship to the data collectors who have diligently contributed their efforts to this national exercise,” the source stated. 

The source added, “Many data collectors were not informed beforehand about the tax implications and did not receive detailed breakdowns of their payments and deductions.” 

In the petition, The data collectors call for a thorough review of the tax deductions applied to their payments. “Any excess or improper deductions should be promptly refunded to the affected individuals,” they urged. 

Additionally, they are asking the Gambia Bureau of Statistics to engage with relevant stakeholders, including representatives of the data collectors, to address their concerns and ensure that fair and lawful practices are adhered to in future exercises. 

“We believe that addressing these issues promptly will rectify the current situation and enhance the trust and cooperation between the Gambia Bureau of Statistics and its temporary workforce. Your immediate attention to this matter will be greatly appreciated.” 

It is anticipated that around 7000 individuals will participate in the upcoming census exercise, raising concerns regarding potential financial exploitation.

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