Organized labour unions in Ghana have started preparations for negotiations over cost of living allowances (COLA) for the year 2023. The unions are requesting for COLA due to the recent introduction of fresh taxes by the Ghanaian government.
The current living conditions in Ghana will also be taken into consideration during the 2023 base pay negotiations.
According to Joshua Ansah, deputy secretary general of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), the negotiations will center on factors such as inflation, taxes, and the cost of living to protect the Ghanaian worker.
In an interview with Daniel Opoku of TV3 on April 3, Mr. Ansah expressed dissatisfaction with the present government for raising taxes despite the state of the economy.
Mr. Ansah stated that the TUC will carefully monitor what the taxes generated by the amended bills will be used for since their request for the government to approve the three bills was not heeded.
He also emphasized that the TUC will factor in anything that eroded their gains such as inflation, taxes, living standards, and other factors that make their living standards uncomfortable during negotiations for greater pay.
The passage of the Growth and Sustainability Amendment Bill, the Excise Duty Amendment Bill, and the Income Tax Amendment Bill by Parliament on March 31, were aimed at supplementing domestic revenue with GH4 billion annually. However, Mr. Ansah maintained that over time, governments have changed but never explained why they tax the populace heavily, especially employees.
While acknowledging that taxes are for development, Mr. Ansah lamented that Ghanaians do not see the development that they envisage when they pay taxes. He stated that if positive results are not seen this time round, it will be difficult for Ghanaians to be convinced to pay additional taxes.
The TUC’s deputy general secretary also warned that they will not sit back and allow the government to ignore their demands for fair wages. They plan to hold the government accountable for any additional taxes imposed on Ghanaians by monitoring how the taxes are used.
In conclusion, the request for a fair wage by organized labour unions in Ghana is justifiable considering the current economic situation in the country. The negotiations for 2023 COLA and base pay will be heavily influenced by factors such as inflation, taxes, and the cost of living. The TUC’s vow to hold the government accountable for any additional taxes imposed on Ghanaians should be commended