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General News of Thursday, 1 May 2014

Source: citifmonline.com

Lead us away from poverty – TUC to Mahama

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has implored the President to lead Ghanaian workers out of poverty.

“What we need is good leadership. Your Excellency, we need you to lead us away from poverty to prosperity,” said the Secretary General of the TUC, Kofi Asamoah.

Workers across the world are celebrating May Day and the theme for the celebration in Ghana is “Ghana’s economy, a concern for all”.

Addressing workers at the Black Star Square in Accra, Mr. Asamoah stated that workers in Ghana believe in the capabilities of the President to lead the country and pledged the support and commitment of workers towards salvaging the economy.

Ghana’s economy has come under serious scrutiny as some have also raised concerns about its health.

Although various experts and political opponents have warned the government to take urgent steps to fix the economy, the President in his 2014 state of the nation address maintained that the ‘economy is resilient and sound'.

Ghanaians are also complaining about the rising cost of living due to the introduction of new taxes and increases in utility tariffs.

The nation’s currency, the Cedi, has been depreciating against major trading currencies, thus adding to the cost of doing business in Ghana.

Government has on several occasions blamed the Single Spine Pay Policy for public sector workers as being a major cause of our economic challenges.

Other factors also cited as being the cause of the ill-state of the economy includes corruption, high government expenditure, over-reliance on foreign aid, large fiscal and current deficits, rising inflation among others.

Although the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Finance Ministry earlier in the year put in place some measures to save the situation, some believe the measures are not working as expected.

Mr. Asamoah urged government not to live in denial about the state of the economy, but be truthful to Ghanaians on the issue.

He said: “It will not be helpful if government officials and commentators adopt this posture [denial] and descend on people and institutions that express their views and offer suggestions on the way forward for our country.”

He added that practical meanings must be given “to the call on all Ghanaians to put their shoulders to the development wheel of the country. You cannot expect people to do their bid for mother Ghana when their views are treated with contempt".

The TUC boss also used the occasion to caution the government against signing onto the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) in “its current form” because it will not help the development of the nation.

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