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Editorial: As Mr. President Speaks To Us   
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In their state of the nation statement, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) last week expressed disquiet about the predicament of the Ghanaian worker vis-à-vis recent developments such as the upward review of taxes inter alia.

The statement from organized labour, coming a few days before today’s sessional address by President John Evans Atta Mills, is interesting.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge these past few months, further reducing the purchasing power of the already paltry remuneration of the Ghanaian worker.

Not only has “pure water” become unexpectedly expensive for the Ghanaian worker, unusual utility bills are in the pipeline, endangering the peace in homes, as breadwinners falter in their obligations.

The Ghanaian worker has never been so disappointed, considering the high hopes they had in a government which promised them manna from heaven during the campaign season.

The recently-announced tolls by government, alongside an upward review of existing taxes in the system, have not helped matters and organized labour’s concern is not misplaced.

We have particularly taken notice of an aspect of the statement about the limit to which the Ghanaian worker can tolerate an ominous muscle-flexing.

Social unrest, the fallout when organized labour can no longer take it, should not be encouraged and the only way to do this is the adoption of human-faced policies. After all, Ghanaians were assured by President Mills, when a presidential candidate, that this path is possible.

Another area which organized labour touched on in their statement was about transparency vis-à-vis the recent oil discovery.

The tone of the statement suggested a doubting organized labour as regards a transparent management of the country’s young oil industry.

For organized labour, Ghana is not ready for the oil business and we appear to share in their apprehension, given the cacophony surrounding the subject even before the first barrel is drawn from the oil well.

As Mr. President speaks to the nation today, through the august House of Parliament which is a representation of the people of Ghana, it is our expectation that he would address critical issues which were raised by organized labour in their state of the nation statement a few days ago.

As mentioned earlier, it is auspicious that the President is speaking to the nation a few days after organized labour stated its case for improved living conditions.

Organized labour’s concern provides additional material for him to consider, as he endures the challenges of managing a government.

Much as we do not dispute the need to raise taxes to meet the obligations of running a government, it is our position that consideration must be accorded the already precarious economic condition of the people for which the state exists.

By the time he exhausts his address, Ghanaians would be in a better position to tell whether the exercise is just satisfying a convention, better still, a presidential route. We are listening and watching.
Source: Daily Guide

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