The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has described the President’s State of the Nation Address as comprehensive and commended him for acknowledging the challenges facing the structure of the economy.
It also commended the President for announcing measures to deal with the challenges.
In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Kofi Asamoah, the TUC said, “We particularly commend the President for announcing a plan for the progressive introduction of free secondary education in Ghana.”
“As it may be recalled, on February 5, 2014, the TUC issued a press statement in which we raised concerns about the prevailing socio-economic situation and its impact on the working people of Ghana and their families,” it said.
It said the reaction by the government and its communicators to the press statement was one of denial.
“However, contrary to the initial government reaction to our views on the current socioeconomic situation, the TUC finds the President’s address a tacit admission of the issues we raised in the press statement,” it said.
No palliative measures
It said while acknowledging the suggested actions by the government, the TUC was of the opinion that what Ghana needed was not the palliative measures outlined and being implemented by the government and its agencies.
“Announcing bits and pieces of policy without the needed linkages is not the way to go,” it stated.
It said what Ghana needed was a macroeconomic policy shift.
“The TUC believes that we need to abandon the way economic policies have been formulated and implemented in the last three decades. Over this period, the emphasis has been on export of low-valued primary commodities and an over-liberalised trade regime which has dissipated our manufacturing base,” it said.
Bold actions needed
“We urge the government of Ghana to take bold actions to address the fundamental and structural economic challenges in the short to long term. Our economic policy makers need to seriously consider our trade and investment policies, interest and exchange rate regimes and ensure that these are in tandem with our national development objectives, including our employment creation objectives. We need a coherent strategy that incorporates all aspects of our national development,” the TUC said.
It concluded by repeating its call for a non-partisan national dialogue on economic development in the country.