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Whiles Ghana is Debating, They Have Been Paid Already. TUC Orders Nana Addo To Refund The Monies NOW

Ghanaians have reacted with fury over the decision by the country’s parliament to award £2,500-a-month salaries to the wives of the president and vice-president as the country faces economic turbulence.

Rebecca Akufo-Addo, 70, the first lady, and Samira Bawumia, 40, the wife of the vice-president, will get the same money as a cabinet minister for their supportive roles in government, with payments backdated four years under a move approved by a parliamentary committee.

To indicate some level of lack of transparency, even some members are in court, over this, as according to them, it was hidden to them, when they approved the report of the emoluments committee.

Fast forward, the latest and largest group to add their vice to this, is the Trades Union of Ghana, made up of all pubic employees in the country, who in clear statements, want this funds, allegedly paid out already to be funded now, without delays.

This therefore suggests that, whereas Ghanaians are debating whether to pay or not, the backdated salaries to both Rebecca and Samira have been paid already.

In a press statement sighted, the group was emphatic that:

"The spouses of presidents and vice presidents are not specified under Article 71 of the Constitution of Ghana. The question is: why should they receive salaries pegged to emoluments and privileges for office holders specified under Article 71? The spouses of presidents and vice presidents have not been officially assigned any such duties and responsibilities and therefore, they are not qualified to receive salaries from the public purse," it stated.

It continued to state categorically that, "The President should also ensure that all such payments made to his wife and the wife of Vice President are refunded immediately. When the time comes for spouses of presidents and vice presidents to be assigned official duties and responsibilities that will qualify them to receive salaries from tax payers’ money."

Interestingly, this is coming on the back of the TUC's meeting, which was graced by the President in March 2021, where H. E Nana Addo had said that,

"“The truth of the matter is that we are not in normal times and I appeal to all Ghanaians, including organized labour, to assist the government in this endeavour to have rebuild our public finances and economy. We need to mobilize additional resources to cater for the new challenges confronting us while meeting other statutory requirements. I, therefore, urge all Ghanaian workers, to bear with the government in these unusual and rather challenging times. I’m confident that sooner, rather than later, and together we can create the happy, progressive and prosperous nation we all desire”, President Nana Addo had said.

According to him, “COVID-19 resulted in a drastic slowdown in economic activity and a huge drop in domestic revenue combined with the sharp and [unparalleled] hike in COVID-19-related expenditure”.

“In sum, this unprecedented crisis, led to a sudden shortfall in government revenues amounting to some GHS13.6 billion and an unexpected and unavoidable rise in expenditure of some GHS11.7 billion”, he noted.

A week earlier to this statement from the President, the then Technical Adviser at the Ministry of Finance, Dr Samuel Nii Noi Ashong, said the government cannot offer huge salary increases to public sector workers for the next few years.

During a discussion on the 2021 budget organized by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Dr Ashong said: “If you look at the budget, COVID-19 is not expected to abate until the end of 2023 and we’re all looking to be tightening our belts for a while and people should not be expecting huge wage increases in the course of the next few years. This is because we don’t have money to pay for it”.

“You’ll realize that between wages and compensations for employees and unencumbered domestic revenues, if you net off all the mandated transfers which are required by law, talk of GETFund transfers, National Health Insurance, District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), the rest which is left is not enough to pay for wages and salaries, goods and service, social intervention programmes, that portion alone is not enough to pay for even wages and salaries,” he said.

Looking forward, the TUC, who have had to accept the low salary increase for its workers because of the alleged "not normal times" mantra, now insist that:

"We would also like to advise the President to initiate a process towards the establishment of a Committee/Commission made up of experts from various fields to advise government on salaries for all jobholders in the entire public service to ensure fairness."

"The current system appears to favour politicians at the expense of other jobholders in the larger public service in terms of salaries, allowances and other job-related privileges. Under no circumstance should sections of the public service receive unfair advantage over others in the same public service. The wrongs that have been that have been perpetuated over nearly past three decades at the blind side of taxpayers must stop now," it concluded.

Content created and supplied by: MrsCelestial (via Opera News )

Ghana Ghanaians Nana Addo Samira Bawumia TUC


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