The Trades Union Congress (TUC) and IMANI Ghana have made proposals for the 2015 budget likely to be presented to Parliament on November 20, by Finance Minister, Seth Terkper.
While the TUC recommendations for next year's budget statement focused on upward adjustment for public sector pay, better fiscal policies, strengthening of the labour market among others, IMANI centered on high taxes imposed on tobacco, the need to abrogate a $1.2 billion loan by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and frameworks to deepen accountability.
TUC, which is the umbrella organisation for trade union activities in Ghana, said developments in the past few months show clearly that "Ghana’s economy is still very fragile", reminding government that living conditions in the country, which it believes is too high, can trigger social unrest.
"We, therefore, expect clear policies in the 2015 Budget to deal with the high cost of living and the high cost of doing business in Ghana", TUC said.
The TUC says it expects "adequate provision in the 2015 Budget to start addressing the challenges in human resource development and management."
The Trade Union Congress also emphasised the need for commencement of negotiation for an upward adjustment of public sector pay for 2015.
"To avoid any potential confrontation between public sector unions and government we would like to advise government to do whatever it takes to conclude negotiations of public sector pay and to make the necessary provisions in the budget before it is presented to Parliament", TUC reiterated.
The think tank's proposals opened with comments on an attempt by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to secure a $1.2 billion without Parliament's approval, recommending that the Finance Minister stops the deal.
IMANI President, Franklin Cudjoe explains this is important "for the simple reason that the GNPC has a problem with prudent spending and accounting".
"Government must review allocations to GNPC based on their capacity-efficiency to spend the money they get yearly; further reduce it below the 30% percent they currently get. Two issues: (a) Money sitting on their accounts unspent; (b) unaccounted and inefficient expenditure (e.g. BNP Paribas got a $30M facility unaccounted and attempts to build large offices which Parliament kicked against)", Franklin Cudjoe said.
The budget statement is a plan for the near future detailing saving and spending expenditures. It consists of a list of all planned expenses and revenues.