The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has said the new taxes stipulated in the 2021 budget will have a negative impact on the living standards and conditions of the Ghanaian worker.
It has, therefore, called on the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah to immediately convene “an emergency National Tripartite Committee meeting” to discourse on the fallout of the 2021 approved Budget.
A letter by the Federation addressed to the Minister signed by its Secretary-General Abraham Koomson, on Monday, 22 March 2021, said: “We specifically refer to the following elements contained in the Budget Statement: COVID-19 Health Levy, Road Toll increase, Sanitation and Pollution Levy ‘Bola Fee’, 1 percent increase in National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL), 1 percent increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) Flat Rate, Energy Sector Levies Act (ESLA), (Levy Increased)-additional burden on motorists and food prices, Financial Sector cleanup.”
According to the Federation, it is obvious that “these new taxes will impact negatively on the conditions of service and living standards of workers. “
It added: “Accordingly, the Executive Committee of Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) requests the Hon. Minister to convene an emergency National Tripartite Committee meeting to address the fallout of the approved Budget.”
Meanwhile, the National Executive Council of the Senior Staff Association-Universities of Ghana has described the unilateral decision of the government not to increase salaries and wages of public sector workers until 2024 as not only “shocking and worrying” but “disappointing, frustrating and traumatizing”.
According to the council, salaries and wages are determined by a Tripartite Committee and not solely by the government.
The council in a statement wondered that if the government is unable to increase salaries of public sector workers due to the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the economy could the government not have engaged the national leadership of unions in stakeholder consultative meetings to prepare their minds for no salaries adjustment?
The council noted that tertiary education plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the country and contribute immensely to the sustenance of these gains and, therefore, it is shocking and demotivating that instead of the government consolidating and motivating them to continue to improve and expand their frontiers, it has “chosen to inject into our body system a high dose of agony and worsening economic conditions intended to lower or even kill the velocity” of its members with its unilateral position not to increase wages and salaries until 2024.