General News of Monday, 19 January 2015
Government has said it can sustain the payment of salaries under the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) despite the numerous challenges that has characterised its implementation.
The new salary structure introduced in 2010 was aimed at motivating public service workers to improve service delivery and productivity.
Government has over the years complained about how about 70 percent of its revenue is used in paying public sector workers since its implementation.
There have been agitations on the labour front over what workers describe as distortions and variation in their salaries.
However, addressing the media, Finance Minister Mr Seth Terkper said the policy can be maintained if it is managed well.
“I think the Single Spine, with the abundance of caution, is sustainable depending on how we manage it. We keep repeating the fact that the implementation did not go well, according to the pilot, does not mean the policy itself was entirely defective”
The Minister was optimistic “Ghana will be able to sustain the single spine” if government keeps the policy and improves the payroll “to provide more information as inputs for negotiations and others”.
The Finance Minister also denied reports that government has used monies accrued under the Stabilization and Heritage Funds to pay domestic debt.
The major purpose of the Heritage Fund is to sustain public expenditure capacity in periods of revenue shortfalls.
In 2014, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia suggested that government must consider using the oil revenue reserved for future generations in the Heritage Fund to solve Ghana’s problems.
He stated that government can ease the economic plight of Ghanaians if it begins utilizing the fund. “In this current situation that we find ourselves in, it doesn’t make economic sense to be keeping any money called Heritage Funds,” he explained.
On the contrary, the Minister said the fund is intact and has not been utilised.
“As we speak, the stabilisation fund has about $300 million and is sitting in the bank of Ghana account and there is a committee that is managing it together with the heritage fund which I believe has about $150 million,” Terkper revealed.