The President of policy think tank IMANI, Franklin Cudjoe is of the opinion that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did not instigate President Mahama’s comment on the striking doctors’ issue.
The President had earlier told the striking doctors he will not authorise the payment of any money outside governments budget for the year.
[contextly_sidebar id=”HtEzFs4rPxVu2hdLQKuTdt3r5NT5PNvA”]He argued that this is to help government fiscal discipline move.
Many have attributed the presidents comment to pressure from IMF which wants government to stay within spending limits as required by the current bailout programme.
But Franklin Cudjoe downplayed the IMF’s interference saying it is not because of the strict surveillance of government’s budget.
Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The BIG issue, Franklin Cudjoe stated that the problems to overstretch government budget with demands from organised labour would not be so “if we had a culture of spending within our budget lines.”
He said: “what the President said is the smartest thing to say. Ordinarily by suggesting that am, not going to spend a dime outside this budget is the mark of a very strong leader. If we have been doing these all this while we wouldn’t have to get here so whether the IMF is saying it or not that should have been the norm but having said so it doesn’t mean that when demands are made we should also pooh-pooh the demands.”
Mr. Cudjoe hailed the President’s comments as pragmatic but questioned the payment scales of government workers as against the work they do suggesting a lack of meritocracy.
He stated that “I am saying that the president’s speech by the way half of it was pragmatic saying the honest thing that I cannot pay you outside the budget but at the same time I am saying that the issue of meritocracy unfortunately has been given to the dogs and we need to come back to that conversation.”
Ghana has in the past few weeks experienced a series of strikes especially in the health sector.
Some of them include, public sector medical doctors the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA), University Teachers and until recently, the state attorneys and psychiatric who had called off their strike.
By: Duke Mensah Opoku/citifmonline.com/Ghana