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President Akufo-Addo Pledges to Safeguard Workers’ Incomes and Pensions

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged to protect the incomes and pensions of Ghanaian workers, despite the economic challenges facing the country. During this year’s workers day celebration held in Bolgatanga, the president assured the workers that the government would take all necessary measures to safeguard their livelihoods, which is a responsibility bestowed on him by the Constitution.

The president acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian war on the global economy, describing the current economic crisis as the worst in the last 50 years. He, however, assured the workers that government had managed the impact on the Ghanaian economy well by protecting lives and jobs.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the payment of 15 per cent of Condition of Living Allowance (COLA) to public sector workers in 2022 and the 30 per cent increment in the base pay single spine salary structure of public sector workers in 2023 was a sign of government’s resolve to protect incomes and pensions of workers. He noted that the 30 per cent increment in the 2023 base pay was the highest since the introduction of the single spine salary structure in 2010 and was made possible by the 2.5 per cent increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).

The president also assured the workers that government would not act in any way to short-change their pensions. He stated that the government had resolved to improve pension payouts and that all pensioners on the Social Security and Insurance Trust (SSNIT) pension roll as of December 31, 2022, had their monthly pensions increased by 25 per cent, which is the highest annual increase since 2005.

The Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress, Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, commended the president’s efforts in protecting jobs and incomes of workers. He, however, appealed to the government to complete the review of the labour law to reduce incidences of intimidation and discrimination. Dr Baah also urged the president to reduce the size of government and desist from spending on non-essential projects.

The 2023 May Day celebration was held under the theme, “Protecting incomes and pensions in an era of economic crisis; our responsibility.” It is important for the government and the organised labour to work together to ensure that the livelihoods of Ghanaian workers are protected, especially during this period of economic crisis.

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