A Deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has strongly disputed claims that the cost of living has so shot up that it takes a Ghanaian worker four days minimum wage to able to buy a delicacy like tilapia.
The Acting General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr. Yaw Baah, is reported to have asked the Mills’ government to stop patting its own shoulders for allegedly bringing inflation down, and turn its attention to the conditions of the ordinary Ghanaian, especially, poor workers at the wrong end of the rising cost of living.
“We wanted to bring out the issue of the rising cost of living and the relationship with living standards because once politicians start using inflation and start saying it’s slow… there is the tendency for people to think that cost of living is falling. Cost of living is not falling. It is the rate of increase which is falling,” Dr. Yaw Baah said.
But speaking in an interview with Suhuyini Alhassan on Radio Gold, the Deputy Minister pointed out that because the price of the delicacy varies from place to place, its size will determine how much one pays for it.
He strenuously denied the assertion that no less than a four day minimum wage is required to purchase the delicacy as churned out by the TUC acting General Secretary.
“Which kind of Tilapia and size is he talking about? To say that it takes a worker who earns the minimum wage, four days to buy tilapia is neither here nor there. The statement in the newspaper does not reflect the actual situation on grounds. TUC should appreciate some of the things the government is doing because throughout this year, there has been no increase in petrol…,” he said.
Touching on the concern raised by Dr. Yaw Baah that the government must as a matter of urgency implement the 20 percent across board pay increase, as agreed upon for 2011, before Christmas, the Deputy Information Minister responded that “government has already began the process of implementing the agreement.
“…to create the impression that it’s not being implemented is not fair to the facts. This is a government that has increased the minimum wage over the last few years. Let us appreciate the President for what he is doing,” Okudzeto Ablakwa said.
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