Ghana’s wage bill to increase to GH¢11 billion
Ghana’s already heavy wage bill of GH¢9 billion will increase to GH¢11 billion by the close of the year, a Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Felix Ofosu Kwakye, has said.
He was responding to a publication in the Daily Graphic of the downgrading of Ghana’s B+ status to B by Fitch, the international credit rating agency.
Mr Ofosu Kwakye said the issues raised in the Daily Graphic had engaged the government’s attention for quite some time now and significant progress had been made on how to resolve the issues.
Ghana’s spiralling wage bill
Addressing the media at the ongoing National Policy Fair at the Accra International Conference Centre yesterday, he said, ‘We are informed that one of the major issues that Fitch considered in its current review has to do with the spiralling wage bill.’
‘Indeed, since the implementation of the single spine salary structure, the government’s wage bill annually has shot up from a region of around GH¢1.7 billion to GH¢9 billion as of 2012,’ he stated.
Mr Ofosu Kwakye said according to statistics, however, that would move to GH¢11 billion by December when outstanding issues regarding the single spine were resolved.
He said while the increment was informed by the government’s desire to improve workers’ conditions and also streamline and properly align the wage system, it was committed to ensuring that the streamlining and improvement in working conditions did not result in further destabilisation of the economy.
Measures to address wage bill increase
Mr Ofosu Kwakye said it was for that reason that the government had taken a number of measures to address concerns with the wage bill.
He listed one of the measures as reforms in public sector wage management, for which the Ministry of Finance had deployed a number of measures to ensure that proper management practices were established, with regard to management of the wage.
Touching on Ghana’s debt levels as raised by Fitch, he referred to a statement made by President John Mahama on Wednesday that Ghana would borrow within reasonable limits, although there was the high demand for infrastructural development.
Mr Ofosu Kwakye reiterated the President’s assurance that only projects that would benefit Ghanaians would be embarked on in order not to raise the public debt level.
Indicating that Fitch had already signified that the outlook beyond 2014 was positive, he said the report that Ghana’s position would be reviewed should not cause any alarm to the Ghanaian public, as the government was in firm control of the situation and the economy would witness growth.
By Edmund Smith-Asante/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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