May Day can’t be a good day when new taxes come into force

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The Economic Fighters League (EFL) has raised concerns about the hardships Ghanaian workers are saddled with at the moment.

In a statement to mark the May Day celebration signed by the Fighter-General, Hardi Yakubu, the group called the 2021 May Day a day of hardship and oppression.

The statement encouraged all workers across the country to rise up and reclaim their economic power.

According to the statement, the day cannot be a happy day when “new taxes and levies are also coming into force.”

The statement further read, “There will be an increment in Value Added Tax which will affect the prices of all goods and services. Levies and margins have been added to the petroleum price build-up leading to astronomical increases in the prices of fuel products, at least six (6) times in 2021 alone.”

Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has as part of the government’s efforts to ameliorate the condition of workers, the first unemployment insurance scheme will be established.

Mr Akufo-Addo further placed an embargo on salary increment for himself, his Vice and all the appointees of the executive for this year as a way of contributing to the reduction of the effect of the virus on the local economy.

Speaking at this year’s May Day celebration on Saturday May 1, Mr Akufo-Addo said “…In addition, the first unemployment insurance scheme ceded by government is being championed by the social partnership council and it is to be established by year-end.

“We also use this year to ensure that all workers are vaccinated to protect their lives and enhance their productivity. I have taken the decision to freeze salary increment for this year, 2021 for myself as president, the vice president, ministers, deputy ministers and all appointees of the executive.

“It is our modest contribution to reduce the damage to our public revenue and to help hasten our nation’s recovery from the ravages of the pandemic.”

For his part, the Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Mr Yaw Baah revealed that 800,000 workers in Ghana suffered from pay cut as a result of the effect of the coronavirus on the local economy.

Mr Baah said at the event that workers had had to endure enormous economic pressure following the pandemic.

He said among other things that “800,000 workers were affected by pay reduction.”

He further revealed that poor housing for workers and delay in negotiation of national minimum wage are among some of the concerns of workers that the president must deal with.

Mr Baah assured the president that organized labour is willing and ready to assist the government tackle the ravages of the virus on the economy.