General News of 2014-03-12

Job cuts not the panacea to salvage economy - Ametor Quarmyne

A member of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Eric Ametor Quarmyne says call on government to layoff public sector employees to save the economy is misplaced.
According to him, any attempt by government to cut jobs will exacerbate the already volatile unemployment situation in the country.
Ametor Quarmyne was reacting to a call by former Finance Minister, Dr. Anthony Akoto-Osei on government to lay off workers as a practical way of reducing the wage bill.
At an economic forum under the auspices of Daily Graphic and Fidelity Bank in Accra, the Member of Parliament for Old Tafo said the economy is on the verge of collapse if the status quo remains.
Dr. Akoto-Osei also called for the suspension of portions of the single spine pay policy which takes about 70 percent of the wage bill.
But speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Tuesday, Ametor Quarmyne said though the suggestions by Akoto-Osei is a laudable idea, government lack the willpower to implement it.
According to him, considering the massive employment situation coupled with socio-economic hardships in the country, any attempt to layoff more workers will be politically suicidal.
Ametor Quarmyne said the only way forward is for government to improve the revenue collection system and be fiscally disciplined.
He bemoaned the disparity in tax collection system in the country which he says prevent a lot of people from fulfilling their tax obligations.
Ametor Quarmyne emphasized the need for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to put in place prudent measures to efficiency collect all taxes to enable government undertake developmental projects.
Also, a member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu said Dr. Akoto-Osei hit the nail right on the head.
He indicated that government must be bold decision and to salvage the economy from total collapse.
John Boadu noted that inasmuch as revenue collection in the country is bad, the onus lies with government to resource revenue collection agencies.
He said solving economic problems is not “rocket science” and thus President John Mahama must as a matter of urgency employ the services of professionals to tackle the issues head-on.