I am rather not carrying good news on the outlook for the year 2022. Your religious morality; Christian, Islamic or whatever, would be tested this year, (I will explain that further shortly), in your attempt to cope with the realities of the economy.
If you do not cut down on your expenses for the quality of life you have been providing your home, you would, on a scale of 8 out of 10, be left with a choice to cut corners at whatever you do for a living, or you would practically steal to add to your finances. These are too harsh you may say?
Well, look at this:
Fuel prices are most likely to reach GH¢9 by close of the year. Transport fares would go up surely. For those paying say GH¢3.5 to work, for example, are likely to end the year by paying GH¢4.5 or more.
Those of you who drive to work would have to need more money from your salary to meet up fuel and maintenance costs.
A ball of kenkey that’s selling for GH¢2 now in most part of the country is most likely to get to GH¢3.00. People would complain, but the kenkey seller would respond by increasing the size of the ball a little to appease the eyes, but after three months, you would realize the size would be back to what it was when it was selling for GH¢2.
All public university costs are going to increase by 15 per cent, if the 2022 budget is approved.
That would mean a further dig at the salary of the millions of families in Ghana that would see a relative or two go for higher education.
Hostel fees would be increased for both private hostels and public ones. And watch it, utilities are likely to go up by at least 5 per cent by the end of 2022.
Even if a relative dies, how much you would need to cough up to obtain their death certificate is going up by 15 per cent. Same with acquiring driving license, passport, birth certificate, etc.
How much you used to save is going to dive downwards. I’ve not spoken of the impact of the E-Levy on how much used to circulate among the public. When the E-Levy comes, what it means is that, the government practically is going to take a portion of the monies that used to circulate in 2021 back to itself, for its use. Whether for good or bad!
So simply put, E-Levy means the government taking back monies in circulation from the public.
The rest of us would scramble over what is left, further making life difficult!
In my home of two adults, one teen and two children for example, we were consuming 20 bags of sachet water per month at GH¢60. One bag was selling at GH¢3.00. But now, it is selling at GH¢4 and GH¢5. We are sticking with the GH¢4 for now. And oh, I also believe that the children came home for the vacation with increased school fees.
Interestingly, do you know how much your government is going to help you cope with these realities? Well, it has increased your salaries by 4 per cent for all public sector workers.
Let’s do the math: if you were receiving GH¢1,500 for example, you will have GH¢60 added to your salary. So your take home will be GH¢1,560. That’s how beautiful it gets!
As for employees of the private businesses, I don’t know their margin of increase.
You see, so, how do you plan to survive this in 2022, with your current static salary? See, you practically have just two options.
- You would have to cut down on how you run your home. For example, if you were buying a bag of rice for GH¢250, it means either you would have to go looking for a low-cost rice for the home, or you would have to take more from your salary to buy the rice, now likely to sell at GH¢300 or GH¢340. But remember, your salary is still at what it is. You may have to maintain the lifestyle and look for a side job to augment it. Wahala would however be on you if your current work is from 8 to 5pm. Look at option 2.
- If your salary is not increased and point one is not an option for you, then your next option would be to trade your morals, especially in a country where being morally sane doesn’t pay.
You would likely cut corners or practically steal to add to your finances.
In this country, we celebrate wealth, and we don’t care how you got it. So expect that people’s morality or ethics would dwindle due to the pressures of the times, in their attempt to maintain their lifestyles. Not many people would want a decline in the quality of their lives.
So how Christian, Islamic or religious you are is going to be challenged this 2022, further pushing you away from doing what is right in the eyes of your Supreme Being.
For girls and boys, especially girls who are not working, they are likely to suffer more in the hands of men. Men would demand more of you, or, you’ve got to give more of you to get that which you need from a man who has promised you MoMo, which might carry a 1.75 per cent additional nuisance tax.
In all things, lets not expect that life would be easier. No! It would be more challenging as we know it from he Bible as stated in 2nd Timothy 3:1-6.
Now let me ask again, how do you intend to survive this year, on the face of the economic realities ahead?
By Caleb Armstrong