Organised Labour have challenged government to reverse the decision to freeze employment in the public and civil services as stated in the 2023 budget by the Finance Ministry.

They have urged government to come clear on the freeze asking that “it is a total or net freeze and was quick to state that government must factor the backlog of the employment situation in the country.

“If government places a freeze on employment to already non-existence of jobs and the lack of recruitment in the said sectors, the unemployment rate will leading to a devastating effect on livelihood particularly the youth”, they said.

The members made these revelations at a Post Budget Forum in Accra organised by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Stifung (FES) Foundation.

In an address, the Secretary General of TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah said Ghanaian workers are going through economic difficulties and as a result workers are not able to make ends meet hence the TUC is calling for an increment of 60% in salaries to enable workers to have a decent salary and meet basic needs as well as the household.

According to him, the economic challenges have led to lack of confidence in the governance of the country and have also created a negative impact on the socio-economic development of the country as well as the citizenry.

“The country have gone through and witnessed economic hardship thus prudent measures be put in place with the collective effort of all stakeholders to help address the high cost of living”, he added.

For his part, the General Secretary of the General Agriculture Worker’s Union (GAWU), Mr. Edward Kareweh said the budget did not spell out policies to curb the high cost of importation of goods and have virtually crippled local production.

“The budget failed to address issues relating to food security and sovereignty”, he said adding that the 2023 budget did not focus on solving the country’s economic challenges but to engage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on policies which are at the detriment of the citizenry particularly job cuts, freeze on employment among others.

According to him, government’s decision to remove the threshold on e-levy, tax waivers in the agriculture value chain and the increase of VAT by 2.5 percent and others worrying inputs in the budget be rejected.

The General Secretary of the Public Sector Workers’ Union (PSWU), Mr. Bernard Adjei urged government to explore new areas of revenue mobilisation through digitalisation saying the move will help block revenue leakages.

“The printing of money by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to finance governmental projects is quite disturbing”, he said indicating further that the move leads to high inflation and impact negatively on cost of living.

Source: Ben LARYEA

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