The Head of department of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr. Godfred Bokpin has said government cannot pay the allowances and wages demanded by some labour unions because of the bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
President John Mahama on Wednesday hinted on the possible collapse of the economy should government concede to the financial demands of some of the unions.
[contextly_sidebar id=”58JDJBKiqhaECmEZjHDbCYjX00kbcAED”]He insisted that government will not spend any amount on wages and allowances that have not been captured in the budget.
Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of an economic forum organised by the Good Governance Africa, a civil society group, Dr. Bokpin noted that government may not also heed to the demands of labour due to the implications it may have on the economy.
He said “I think that the ultimate employer is the economy so if the economy cannot support that then certainly you don’t want to go that way. But I can understand the government because their hands are tied. We are running a programme that already has some stringent requirements so we are looking at that as against meeting the expectations of labour.
He said economy cannot contain the pressure on it “beyond a certain point” so “we just have to be realistic with that.”
“The most effective way to solve that is to also increase your productivity. You can also put the demand of labour in a particular contest because the cost of living has also gone up because of the various frictions in the economy. It’s about government sitting down with them and see realistically what is it that can be accommodated in a form of negotiation. But I want to believe that there isn’t much government can do because of the IMF programme also,” added Bokpin.
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have also laid down their tools to demand the payment of their books and research allowances.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana