Translate econs growth into improving living standards – TUC

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has asked government to translate growth being experienced in the economy into improving the living standards of Ghanaians.

In a statement to react to issues raised by the Economic Management Team (EMT) at a town hall meeting last Wednesday, the Trades Union while acknowledging government’ assertion of a steady and improved economy, wondered how it reflected in the lives of citizens.

“For many Ghanaians, because we have seen similar impressive statistical indicators before, with no corresponding visible improvements in our lives, we are quite skeptical about the so-called macroeconomic stability.

The question on the mind of every Ghanaian is: What do these statistics mean for lives of Ghanaians and how can these achievements be sustained?,” the statement signed by Secretary General of the TUC, Dr Yaw Baah, quizzed.

The Union argued that it was imperative government initiated policies that “will move us beyond perpetual stabilisation and help link the stability we celebrate with the daily experiences of Ghanaians.”

“The declining inflation must be felt when we buy a bag of rice, a pack of sachet water or when we pay our rents. The trade surplus must mean something for the stability of the value of the Ghana Cedi. Economic growth must translate into improved living standards for all Ghanaians,” it insisted.

Throwing its weight behind the government’s numerous social interventions to improve the welfare of the citizenry, the TUC urged government to intensify engagement with the private sector to ensure such interventions addressed real life issues.

To this end, the TUC believed reforms at the ports as announced by the EMT would “benefit some individuals in the short term at the expense of the public purse.”

The new measures, according to the Union “are a clear manifestation of the influence of the powerful import lobby on policies and politics in Ghana.”

“We all know that a major challenge facing the domestic private sector is unfair competition from imports including sub-standard counterfeit products and the new measures announced by Vice President will only further flood our markets with imports.”

“Reforms of the import tariff regime should be geared towards reducing tariffs for imported intermediate inputs or for products we currently do not have the capacity to produce, but not for all kinds of imports that only come to outcompete local producers,” the Union maintained.

It thus hoped the establishment of the Fiscal and Financial Stability Councils as well as the Social Partnership Council to bring together government, businesses and organised labour would improve the quality of economic management and help move our country forward.

By Times Reporter

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