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COVID crisis: Govt has never laid off workers amid the pandemic

‘’From the very first day that the novel coronavirus arrived here in Ghana in March 2020, the Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recognised the dire consequences that it would have on our economy, particularly on jobs, and on our ability to raise revenues to meet both the cost of managing the pandemic and Government’s regular spending obligations’’

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has stated that despite the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and the global economy, ‘the government has never once embarked on any programme of laying off workers’.

The Minister made these remarks while he presented the 2021 Mid-year budget review to Parliament stressing that the President has shown exceptional leadership managing the pandemic.

‘’From the very first day that the novel coronavirus arrived here in Ghana in March 2020, the Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recognised the dire consequences that it would have on our economy, particularly on jobs, and on our ability to raise revenues to meet both the cost of managing the pandemic and Government’s regular spending obligations’’.

‘’Mr. Speaker, therefore, the hardships that COVID-19 pandemic visited on people’s lives, the stress on parents, the frustrations of young people, the negative impact on businesses, for both employers and employees, the worsening of the unemployment situation, the effect on the public debt and the stress on revenue mobilization, was unprecedented but expected. Indeed, no country in the world had prepared for the crisis that unfolded’’.

‘’Leadership, was, therefore, assessed by the measures that individual countries and their respective leaders took to deal with the crisis. Here in Ghana, we took responsible, innovative, decisive and bold actions to tackle the crisis’’.

The Minister further indicated that the government’s interventions ‘’stabilised the situation, protected lives, supported businesses and preserved jobs which would otherwise have been lost’’.

‘’ In fact, although the workload from the public sector had to be reduced in many cases, all through this COVID crisis, Government has never once embarked on any programme of laying off workers. Rather, we have continued to pay all workers and even proceeded to employ more in some critical areas such as Security and Health services’’.

Mark F. | SilverFM

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