TUC raises flag about gov't's "insensitive" proposed freeze on pay rise


Kofi Asamoah, TUC Secretary GeneralTUC raises flag about gov't's "insensitive" proposed freeze on pay rise

07 April 2014

The Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) has expressed stern disapproval of proposed austere measures contained in a policy statement on Ghana's economy presented by the Minister of Finance to Parliament last week.



In particular the labour organisation said in a report that it finds it "strange" that government is considering a freeze on pay increases for workers this year.

"We find government's statement made symbolically, on April Fool's Day full of inconsistencies. A critical analysis of the policy statement leaves us with one obvious conclusion: that Government has once again demonstrated that it is totally insensitive to the harsh economic and social conditions the working people of Ghana and their families are facing", the TUC declared.

The lengthy report signed by TUC General Secretary, Kofi Asamoah, on the Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Seth Terkper's, presentation to Parliament on April 1, 2014 also insists that the single spine pay policy is not the cause of the country's economic challenges as suggested by the minister.

Instead the TUC is convinced Ghana's economic challenges is the result of how the economy is being managed, or "mismanaged".

"In other words, the main reason for the economic crisis has to do with the wrong policies adopted by Government to manage the economy."

The Finance minister last Tuesday told Parliament measures to rationalise government expenditure this year include: "a proposal of a moratorium on public sector wage increase in 2014 through the public sector wage negotiation process, continuation of the policy of net freeze on employment into some sectors of the public service" among others.

But the TUC says it is "baffled" by such policy inconsistencies in the minister's statement especially when government claims to be a social democrat.

" We are fully convinced that if government is bold enough to abandon the IMF textbook macroeconomic policies and adopt the right social and economic policies Ghana will be out of this crisis in no time.

"What we need are policies that will take Ghana out of the current situation where over 8 million out of the 26 million Ghanaians find themselves in poverty despite all the natural and human resources endowment in the country, including oil."

According to the TUC, the removal of subsidies on fuel and utilities, the increase in the highly retrogressive VAT from 15 to 17.5 percent on consumer items including food and medicine are the main causes of the increasing inflation and cost of living in the country, and urged government to look in that direction.

Source: Myjoyonline



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