The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is on the neck of government to cut certain levies contributing to rampant increase in fuel prices.
Fuel prices at the pumps have shot up to GHC5 per litre causing a lot of public uproar with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) asserting government is being insensitive to Ghanaians.
In a statement, the umbrella body of labour unions in Ghana said the Akufo-Addo led administration must halt the price increment as promised in the NPP manifesto when it was in opposition.
“The TUC urges government to scrap some of the taxes on fuel prices to cushion Ghanaians. Also government must look into the various margins and their impact on fuel pricing. At current levels, fuel prices have reached an unsustainable peak for Ghanaian workers and their families. As workers, we can longer afford any further increase. Government must do everything it can to halt further increases,” the TUC said in a statement.
It added: “In its manifesto for election 2016, the NPP had promised Ghanaians a reduction in fuel prices. This was to be achieved through abolishing of some of the taxes in the petroleum price build-up and a competent management of the economy such that exchange rate losses will not translate into higher fuel prices.
“After more than 18 months in government, fuel prices have gone up by an average of more than 25 percent. Between January 2017 and now fuel prices have been adjusted upwards on 16 different occasions. This was not what Ghanaians were promised. In this same period, the minimum wage has gone by 20 per cent.
“The Base Pay on the Single Spine Salary Structure, from which most public sector workers are paid, has also increased by about 24 per cent. Given that fuel increases tend to have very noisy rippling effect on general price levels, the frequent upward adjustments as experienced in the last few months has considerably eroded incomes and worsened the plight of Ghanaian workers and their families.”
The TUC also criticized the Energy Minister Peter Amewu, who said the situation would have been worst if it was the NDC in power.
“It is important for government and its functionaries to understand that dealing with matters as important as fuel prices, we eschew conjectures. The reality is that the Mahama-led administration is no longer in power. [Akufo-Addo-led] administration is in power. And despite the interventions the Minster talked about, fuel prices are rising and Ghanaians are unhappy about it. We require leadership and solutions on how to bring down the prices and not sermon on what would have happened if Mahama-led administration were to be in office,” the statement signed by acting TUC General Secretary, Joshua Ansah, said.