Teachers and other public sector workers looking forward to salary increment will have to keep their fingers crossed.
The 2021 budget statement was presented to parliament on March 12, 2021, by the caretaker Finance Minister Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu with no provision to increase public sector wages in 2021.
The expected 2021 salary increment in Ghana by public sector workers is fading with the latest announcement.
According Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu it is the projection of the government to collect GHS 72 billion in revenue for the 2021 fiscal year. This he stated as equivalent to 16.7 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He however stated emphatically that 90 percent of the money is expected to cater for interest payments on loans and compensations, leaving almost nothing for development and emoluments.
This comes at a time government is proposing a COVID-19 Health Levy of 1% on VAT Flat Rate Scheme (VFRS) and 1% on National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) as part of the fiscal measures to help the economy re-surge from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, there is a review of road tolls and Sanitation Levy is on the verge of coming into force.
The President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) Mr. Angel Carbonu has raised a strong objection to the government’s decision that 2021 salary increment in Ghana is not possible.
An upward adjustment in salaries would cushion public sector workers in these turbulent times, especially when new taxes and levies are being proposed by the government.
Public sector workers are advised to keep their fingers crossed. Only time will tell whether it is a myth or reality.