The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has asked the Akufo-Addo government to use the macroeconomic gains it has chalked over the last three years to improve the living conditions of the ordinary Ghanaian.
According to the TUC, the key highlights in macroeconomic indices and the positive outlook of Ghana’s economy by international rating companies do not currently reflect in the pockets of ordinary Ghanaians.
While declaring its position on the 2020 State of the Nation Address delivered by the President last month, TUC commended the government for its remarkable achievement in the economy.
The General Secretary of the Union Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, commenting on the President’s address said: “We think it was very comprehensive. The President touched on all the important issues that are affecting this country. He highlighted the economy which is in order but we think that we have achieved some successes in the last three years and before.”
“But we still do not think that what we have achieved is reflecting in the pockets of people and the theme of our paper was about that. We have a collective responsibility now to ensure that all the successes we are achieving in Ghana in our macro-economic management benefit everybody irrespective of where they are and their economic status.”
Dr. Yaw Baah also urged the government to support the local industry by making the current trade policy more favourable to Ghanaian businesses.
He further called on the government to implement the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) law which prohibits foreigners from engaging in the retail business.
“We expect some very drastic policies here because why should we live in a country like Ghana where we have the freedom to impose tariffs on things that we can produce here like rice, poultry, tomatoes, and other things too but we still allow these items to come in at a very low tariff range. For example, rice is taxed at 20% but within the WCO rules we can tax rice and poultry at about 90% so why are we not doing it? And that’s why we are saying that our trade policy is too liberal and you cannot industrialise on the back of such an over liberalized trade policy. No country has ever done that,” he said.
Before the mid-year budget review was read in 2019, the Trades Union Congress urged the government to announce policies that would effectively translate the gains in macroeconomic management into real and visible improvements in the living conditions of Ghanaians.
In a statement after its annual General Council Meeting, the TUC said the apparent good sets of macroeconomic statistics were not adequately and visibly reflecting in the lives of the majority of Ghanaians.
The TUC said whilst the economy was growing, real wages were declining and highlighted the need for an upward adjustment of wages in the budget review.