Freeze on public sector jobs: Government lied to us – TUC

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has expressed its opposition to a decision by the government to impose a freeze on recruitment into the public and civil service for the upcoming year.

According to TUC, the decision by the government is a clear show of bad faith and betrayal as the government had made a promise not to do such.

“I am really disappointed about the freeze of employment in the civil and public services in 2023, because this is something that the TUC has spoken about it all this while. When the IMF team came to this country, we had the opportunity to meet with them and one of the issues we raised with them is about the freeze of employment that always becomes their conditionality anytime they access their programme, we were assured that that was not going to happen,” Deputy TUC General Secretary, Joshua Ansah said in a report by Myjoyonline.com.

He notes that TUC in response to the decision will act based on the outcome of a discussion with its Social Welfare Committee.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday, November 24, 2022, presented before parliament government’s budget and economic policy for the year 2023.

As part of the government’s measure to arrest the country’s challenged economic situation, the minister announced several measures.

See below the full expenditure measures approved by Cabinet and announced by the finance minister below:

Mr Speaker, as a first step toward expenditure rationalisation, Government has approved the following directives which take effect from January 2023:

• All MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit systems, and fuel depots. Accordingly, 50% of the previous year’s (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs and SOES;

• A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross-country travel. All government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from January 2023;

• Limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles. For the avoidance of doubt, the purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles;

• Only essential official foreign travel across government including SOEs shall be allowed. No official foreign travel shall be allowed for board members.

Accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year 2023 by mid-December of all expected travels to the Chief of Staff;

• As far as possible, meetings and workshops should be done within the official environment or government facilities;

• Government-sponsored external training and Staff Development activities at the Office of the President, Ministries and SOEs must be put on hold for the 2023 financial year;

• Reduction of expenditure on appointments including salary freezes together with suspension of certain allowances like housing, utilities and clothing, etc.;

• A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for the free zone, mining, oil and gas companies;

• A hiring freeze for civil and public servants

• No new government agencies shall be established in 2023;

• There shall be no hampers for 2022;

• There shall be no printing of diaries, notepads, calendars and other promotional merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs for 2024;

• All non-critical projects must be suspended for the 2023 Financial year.