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General News of Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

TUC asks government to abandon IMF programme

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is asking government to discontinue the Ghana's programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Secretary-General, Kofi Asamoah, says the deal has failed to address socio-economic needs of Ghanaians.

He wants government to revert to home-grown fiscal policies of the Senchi Consensus.

Mr Asamoah points out that policies introduced under the IMF programme since last year are not working, leaving ordinary citizens poorer by the day. At the 10th quadrennial delegates congress in Kumasi, he said even the Single Spine Salary Structure is unable to cushion workers of current hardships in the face of rising cost of living.

“Government introduced the IMF-sponsored Extended Credit Facility in 2015 to deal with these challenges. But your Excellency, these policies are not working. Ghanaians are getting poorer every day under the IMF programme, we urge you and your government to abandon the IMF programe and revert to the home-grown Senchi Consensus. IMF programmes have never worked anywhere and they will not work here,” he said.

According to him, Ghana’s economy has been weak, with its attendant effect being high living standards affecting all socio-economic groups in the country with increasing high levels of poverty and destitution.

“The weak economy has had very negative effects on living standards across all socio-economic groups in the country. A very significant number of our compatriots are suffering extreme levels of poverty and destitution,” Mr Asamoah said.

However, in response to the TUC, President John Mahama has defended the IMF bailout, saying it is the ultimate for the country.

He told workers government will resort to home-grown policies only upon completion of the IMF program, which according to him, may be the last one for Ghana.

“I wish to reiterate my earlier statement that is our ultimate IMF programme. We are almost there. We will finish hard. Next year is the last year of the programme and we will go back to Kofi [TUC Secretary General] home-grown fiscal policies," President Mahama said.

"I wish to reiterate my earlier statement that this is our ultimate IMF programme. This is the ultimate IMF programme to end all IMF programmes,” he added.

Meanwhile, President Mahama says Ghana is reaping from investments in public infrastructure such as the ports, roads, water, healthcare and electricity which he says has created an estimated 400,000 jobs over the last 4-years.