A senior research fellow at the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Dr. Said Boakye, wants the government to set a better example for public sector workers advocating for increased wages.
“We need leadership by example. Workers have every right to call for it [better pay] if they don’t see leadership from the government,” he said on The Big Issue.
Some public sector unions striking for better conditions of service despite Ghana’s ongoing economic crisis.
Observers have urged the government to reduce its size as a signal of Ghana’s austerity.
But the 2023 budget did not indicate any significant reduction in government size.
Dr. Boakye also criticised the increasing expenditure as noted in the budget.
The government intends to spend GH¢205.4 billion in 2023 as it pursues an IMF deal for economic support.
“You cannot claim to be fiscally consolidating while at the same time spending is increasing and the deficit is increasing… expenditure is growing but revenue that is going to support it is also not realistic.”
A development economist at the University of Ghana, Dr. Agyapomaa Gyeke-Darko, also said she expected more expenditure cuts from the budget.
“The moves that we have seen in a way are too cosmetic,” she noted, also on The Big Issue.
Among other things, the government plans to ban on the use of V8 and V6 vehicles by government officials for non-cross-country travel.
It is also halving fuel allowances.
But Dr. Gyeke-Darko stressed that “the situation that we find ourselves in now requires some drastic measures… we all need to realize we are in a dire situation and then we need to be able to make sacrifices.”
“People have to see that leaders are willing to sacrifice before they can also give off what they have to give away,” the economist added.