As the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit Ghana hard, the question is what steps and actions are government taking to protect vulnerable people and workers especially those in the private sector?
What welfare and protective scheme are being put in place to protect jobs and livelihoods beyond the usual updates and restrictions? Are we going to allow this pandemic to take our economy out of gear and put pressure on our already-burdened and unprotected populace?
In times of these pandemics, it is workers in the private sector and the self-employed who suffers most. At least for those in the public sector, government would continue paying their basic salaries.
So, what is government doing to ensure private-sector workers are not laid off by their employers due to the exogenous shocks brought about by the coronavirus pandemic?
UK, Canada, US and other countries have taken up the mantle to pay between 50-80 per cent of the gross salary of their workers in the private sector for the next three months.
They have also waived taxes, rents for self-employed workers and offered them financial stimulus packages to sustain their businesses. Can we use part of our $100 million coronavirus fund to support these workers? That is if it is available? What about the vulnerable people and women especially those in the rural communities?
What are we doing to protect the poor farmers, market women, artisans, the unemployed, the elderly among others who are on the verge of losing their livelihood? Government cannot afford to ignore them.
Just updating us on the number of cases on a daily basis, creating awareness and putting in place restrictions are not enough. We need to also tackle the bread and butter issues.
Let’s champion the welfare of the citizenry for a robust Ghana. We all have a role to play but government must also play it parts.