The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has outlined its expectations for the 2024 budget, urging the government to focus on job creation in both the private and public sectors while taking measures to strengthen the nation's economy.
In a submission titled “GFL Inputs towards the Preparation of the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government,” jointly signed by Mr. Caleb Nartey, GFL President, and Mr. Abraham Koomson, Secretary General, the federation emphasized the need for sound economic policies that promote revenue generation, job opportunities, and private sector development.
Additionally, they called on the government to reduce the cost of living and eliminate taxes that hinder business growth, affecting small, medium, and large companies.
The GFL highlighted the growing issue of unemployment, particularly among the youth, which poses a national security threat.
They cited the decline of the local textile manufacturing industry as an example, which previously employed over 25,000 workers but now employs fewer than 2,000.
Unfair competition from imported pirated and smuggled printed cloth was identified as a major challenge.
The GFL also recommended a review of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006, specifically focusing on Section 25, which allows for an increase in royalty rates from 6 percent to around 15 percent.
This review should also extend to the tax structures related to mining concessions to enhance government revenue.
The federation emphasized that a thorough fiscal evaluation of the natural resource sector could reveal opportunities for the government to raise the necessary revenue.
Furthermore, the GFL proposed a comprehensive assessment of government flagship programs, including the Free Senior High School (SHS), Planting for Food and Jobs, One-District, One-Factory, Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Program, Ghana School Feeding Program, Railways Development, Agenda 111, and Coastal Fish Landing Sites.
The submission from the GFL comes as part of the preparation for the 2024 budget, complying with Section 21(1) of the Public Financial Act 2016 (Act 921), which allows labor unions and various groups to provide inputs for consideration in the budget and economic policy.