TUC wants gap between macroeconomic stability and living standards bridged

The Trades Union Congress, in its analysis of the 2020 Budget, has urged the Government to work to address the weak link between macroeconomic stability and living standards of the people.

The Union said the gap between macroeconomic stability and living standards must be bridged through lower lending rates and employment creation.

It said due to low incomes, limited employment opportunities and financial exclusion (due partly to high lending rates), the macroeconomic gains were not adequately reflecting in the living standards of the majority of Ghanaians.

A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency said the Union appreciated the tremendous gains in macroeconomic management in the last three years.

It said the steady Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, falling trend in inflation, reduction in the budget deficit, the healthy level of international reserves, strong external balances, and a relatively stable Ghana cedi were some gains identified in the macroeconomics.

The Union commended the Government for the significant achievement saying: “The successful reform in financial sector is particularly commendable.”

It urged the Bank of Ghana to introduce and strictly enforce higher ethical standards in the financial sector to enable it to perform its role in economic and social development towards the President’s vision of Ghana beyond Aid.

It said government’s priority programmes were excellent but it would be better to bring all social partners together into the policy space to implement those priorities as they had the potential to transform the economy and society significantly.

The Union urged the Government to support the private sector to become more productive and competitive internationally towards creating more employment opportunities for the youth.

It said all administrative bottlenecks must be removed to enable the private sector to thrive.

Efforts towards formalisation of the informal economy must be intensified in 2020 as the country stands a chance of achieving a lot through digitization, national identification, and the innovation and reforms at the Registrar General’s Department and Ghana Revenue Authority.

The Union proposed the establishment of a Labour Bank similar to Japanese Labour banks to provide loans for housing, cars and other consumer goods for workers in the private and public sectors.

“We note with great satisfaction the support for the local textile industry with the extension of tax stamps to curb smuggling and the introduction of zero-rating Value Added Tax on sales of locally-made textiles,” the Union said.

Source: GNA

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