An economy with few people paying direct taxes can’t witness rapid transformation – Akufo-Addo

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Ado has said there is the need for concerted efforts to hasten Ghana’s recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the labour conference in Kwahu, Eastern Region on Monday February 28, Mr Akufo-Addo indicated that the pandemic has affected every aspect of the economy.

“Studies have shown that the pandemic has had devastating aspects on all sections of our population. Transforming the economy will thus, require the active involvement and participation of all including the large informal economy.

“An economy in which only a small proportion of the population bears the brunt of direct taxation is unlikely to witness any rapid transformation. We have to make concerted efforts as partners to hasten our recovery from Covid 19 by finding intelligent ways of bringing everyone on board to contribute their quota no matter how small.

“Government on its part is implementing a policy of cutting the budget of ministries, department and agencies by 20 per cent this year as its contribution to measures to ensure fiscal consolidation.”

He appealed to all Ghanaians especially labour unions to stand side by side with his government as he works to revive the economy.

According to the President, a number of economic measures including the YouStart initiative, have been introduced to build the economy to benefit all Ghanaians.

He said “Let me respond to the Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress by saying that, I recognize the urgency of concluding the review of the Labour Act, and erecting a legal framework that will protect all categories of workers and enable government’s progrmmes to have a positive impact on the condition of life of the working people of our country.

“One such, potentially the most exciting, is the 10 billion cedis YouStart programme which is intended to help address youth unemployment in the country. Government has directed financial and technical support towards young entrepreneurs in the country to develop commercially viable businesses and create jobs for other youth.

“In effect, it will be a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them launch and start their businesses.

“I thus appeal to all Ghanaians especially organized labour and the business community to stand should to shoulder with my government as we work to return our nation onto the path of progress and prosperity within the confines of our open democratic institutions, which have respect for human rights, rule of law and the principle of democratic accountability. I am a firm personal believer in our national potential, I have no doubt that we have, in us, the potential to rise up and revive our fortune. There are brighter days ahead for Ghana.”

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah announced that stakeholders at the conference will be discussing topics including whether or not the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure should continue.

He also said whether or not the policy has achieved its purpose will also be considered.

“Usually, on annual basis, members of the public sector during negotiations committee will meet and negotiate on agreeable limit of increment. When so done it cuts across and you do not have any individual group coming to you to negotiate.

“So anytime you hear of any industrial action within the public space it is not not about base pay, it is rather about some condition of service which is peculiar to that particular organization.

“But with that of general increment we have always had smooth application of that. But I must admit, of late we have had calls made to us by some organizations that they want to opt out. This conference will look at it as to whether or not the single spine has actually lived its purpose, whether we should maintained it of whether we should make challenges in its applications.”

The Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) is one of the major components of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) introduced by the Government of Ghana and got implemented in 2010, to regulate the payment of public service workers especially those under article 190 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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