Government has been challenged on its decision to increase wages of public sector workers by 10 percent.
The Employment and Labour relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu on Friday announced a 10 percent increase in base pay for public sector workers.
He explained that the figure was agreed on after a meeting with the Fair Wages Salaries Commission (FWSC), Trades Union Congress (TUC ) and other unions.
[contextly_sidebar id=”paTWjg8oD2nNNpbHzPv70lUwZkKi3qOX”]The increase is however expected to take effect from January 2016.
But Financial Analyst, Sydney Casely Hayford on The Big Issue cast doubt at the government’s ability to achieve this aim.
He argued that though public sector workers deserve wage increases, the current situation will make it difficult for the government to meet the target unless it controls what he described as the “frivolous expenditures.”
“This government cannot afford another 10 percent increase, the public and civil servants deserve more than a 10 percent increase. They deserve it because the amount of money that is being wasted on frivolous things could easily be used to improve the standard of living of Ghanaians,” he said.
The anti-corruption crusader also maintained that the timing for the announcement may be one of the ways adopted by the government to shroud what appears to have been defying its promise of controlling expenditure during the election year.
The public sector wage bill is said to constitute a greater percentage of the public purse but Sydney Casely Hayford believes otherwise.
Single Spine policy
He said the situation has rather been as a result of the ‘lump sum’ implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP).
He however added that the increased interest rates on the public debts both domestically and internationally have been more responsible for distortions within the public sector wage bill than the SSPP.
“What is causing us the problem is the interest on the debts that we have taken over the period of time particularly the domestic debts which we are taking in treasury bills at 25 26 percent per annum, that is what government is actually borrowing at and that is what is actually killing us,” he explained.
Other major increases that have been announced by the government within the past two weeks include; a 20% increase in donations to LEAP beneficiaries, an over 21% increase in producer price of cocoa as well as increase in national daily minimum wage from Gh¢7 to Gh¢8 .
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citifmonline.com/Ghana