‘It Is A Political Trap’ – Says Sam Pee Yalley

A former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei is reported to have recently called on government to consider suspending the Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP).

At an economic forum organized by the Daily Graphic and Fidelity Bank, he is said to have underscored the need for the commencement of negotiations for retrenchment in the public sector as part of measures to cut down the growing wage bill.

But contributing to panel discussions on Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji programme, Ghana’s Ambassador to India, Sam Pee Yalley described Dr. Akoto Osei’s proposal as a ‘political trap’.

“Those who started this knowing that they have not got the money they said they had; they had not done the work completely as they said they had are now saying that we should scrap it. For me this is a political trap; it is a very serious political trap,” he indicated.

He pointed out that should the John Mahama-led administration make a ‘mistake’ of considering or even implementing that proposal, the opposition parties will use it against them (NDC) in the future.

The SSPP was instituted by the then Kufuor administration to remove the disparities in the salaries of public sector workers as well as to motivate them for improved productivity.

However, the policy has been experiencing numerous challenges in terms of its implementation and that has led to various agitations on the labour front.

Sam Pee Yalley added it is surprising that Dr. Akoto Osei, who was part of the government (Kufuor administration) that instituted the policy before leaving office, is now advising a different administration to suspend it.

“At the twilight of the NPP government, they announced that a single spine pay policy had been introduced and it will take effect a day or two after they had left office. The assertion then was that all the work related to the policy had been completed and they had even identified the sources of payment to the workers…all to realize too soon that the assertion that a lot of work has been done were not true to the letter…We as a country must sit down and look at the sustainability of the project and not play political ball with it”.

According to him, “until as a country we are able to get our public services rendering the kind of service they are to render in a way that will lead to productivity; we are going to have a re-occurrence of problems”.