Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority Leader in Parliament has lauded the Finance Ministry’s initiative to establish a national unemployment insurance scheme.

Haruna Iddrisu, however, noted that the scheme will be unachievable without data or statistics on the country’s unemployment rate.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during the Mid-year Budget review announced that the scheme would be targeted at those who have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme aims to provide temporary income support to workers who have been laid off since the virus first hit the country and will also aim to provide training for jobs in new fields of work. 

Mr Iddrisu, however, explained on the Super Morning Show, Friday that, unless there are statistics to differentiate between those who were unemployed prior to the pandemic versus those who were affected by the pandemic, the Ministry should instead focus on providing packages for groups of affected industries.

“Those young men and women who work in hotels, don;t have a life today. Those who were working in bars and restaurants don’t have a life today. So we should have been announcing a package just like you did salary for frontline workers,” he said.

The former Employment Minister added that the alternative to establishing an insurance cover scheme based on unreliable statistics would be to get the details of the affected groups from their employers in the hospitality sector.

The Tamale South MP said based on that, give them a fraction of their regular monthly salary as an insurance cover.

“If your company was paying you ¢600 and because of Covid-19, the government will give you ¢300 or ¢200, as insurance cover, then I will hail the Ministry.”