Bright Wireko-Brobby, the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and Member of Parliament for Heman Lower Denkyira, has argued that the strain placed on the country’s wage bill by civil and public servants makes it difficult for the government to continue recruiting in January 2023 and beyond.
Debating the 2023 Budget on the Floor of Parliament, the deputy minister said the 60% increment in salary demanded by organized labour is extreme.
He said the issue left him traumatized during the tripartite negotiations.
“We have a total workforce of close to 12 million in Ghana. Out of the 30 million or so people living in Ghana, salaries of about 700,000 of this number come from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department. And the wage bill for the 700,000 in the 2023 budget will be hitting GH¢44.9 billion. The total tax revenue will also be around GH¢112 billion and out of this, GH¢44.9 billion is going to be used to pay public sector workers.
“As we speak, we are in negotiations with them, and it is really difficult, they are asking for 60 percent. 700,000 workers demanding 60 percent becomes very difficult for the government to continue to hire.”
“There was a freeze on employment when we came into power. The backlog that was there, including the nurses and teachers, we came in and employed all of them, and that further kept a strain on our wage bill.”