TUC: Businesses need massive stimulus package

Dr Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, the Director of Labour Research and Policy Institute, Trades Union Congress (TUC), has called on government to develop a comprehensive stimulus package for businesses and workers.

He said the package would enable businesses, small and large, to stay afloat and maintain their workforce in these difficult periods.

Dr Otoo said enterprises that accessed the package must sign an undertaking to keep their employees on the payroll for an agreed period.

“This is the only way we can sufficiently boost consumption, investment, and export to revamp the economy, restore growth to about seven per cent and fulfil the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.”

The Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda is built around three pillars; self-reliance, economic transformation, and attitudinal change and respect for traditional values and ethics.

Presenting a report of a preliminary assessment of the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on businesses and workers in Ghana by the TUC, Dr Otoo said with that approach, government would be directly supporting workers and their families through their employers.

Dr Otoo said the report was based on information gathered by trade unions operating in various sectors of the economy, including the informal sector.

“This approach is not different from wage subsidy schemes aimed at preventing mass redundancies implemented in other countries,” he said.

He said the interventions put in place for businesses by government were not sufficient to revamp the economy towards Ghana Beyond Aid.

He said without comprehensive stimulus package the economic and social costs of the pandemic would be immense and long lasting.

The TUC expected the stimulus package to match the magnitude of the projected decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Dr Otoo said.

“GDP growth is expected to decline from 6.8 to 1.5 per cent in 2020. This translates into output loss of over GH¢18 billion (US$3.1 billion).”

“Therefore, we expect government to inject at least US$3.1 billion or GH¢18 billion into the economy between now and December, 2020”. GNA

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