wpid-dr-akoto-osei.jpg -Akoto OseiMinority?spokesperson on?Finance,?Dr?Anthony?Akoto Osei?has?proposed?that?government developed a 20 percent retrenchment plan to reduce the size of the?public sector?next year.

According to the?Member of Parliament?for Old Tafo this should be part of a number of strategies to cut down government expenditure.

Speaking?at the Graphic-Fidelity?Economic Dialoguehe said this must be considered as part of efforts to reduce the budget deficit and help the ailing economy.

The?2014?budget?is targeting a?deficit?of 8.5 percent of GDP following a 12 percent deficit recorded last year.

?Some negotiations for retrenchment must begin now, I know government is in discussions with?labour; that wage bill cannot be sustained,?? he said.

Mr Akoto Osei noted that, ?if I were the president, I will signal that every ministry must show me 20 percent of retrenchment in 2015 and 2016.??

He said government does not have the revenue to ?continue paying the salaries.

Dr.??Akoto Osei?also called for an immediate postponement of the full implementation of the Single Spine Salary?Scheme?(SSSS) pay policy.

?Everybody knows?that our current wage bill is not sustainable, I think that we should defer the soon implementation of Single Spine now, not later,?? he opined.

He said the other components of the pay scheme must be?deferred, according to him those ones cannot be sustained in the next two or three terms.

The MP further asked the Finance Minister to?negotiate? with labour in paying the?arrears?it owes it. ?The minister should sit down with labour and tell them that I can?t pay it all, that must also be negotiated.??

He argued that the budget cannot contain the wage arrears and must be negotiated in a longer term.

The Single Spine Pay Policy (SSPP) has cumulatively cost the country GHC 48 billion in additionalexpenditure?on public sector wages since its implementation in July 2010

On his part the?Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper admitted the challenge with managing the budget deficit. He revealed ?that government together with stakeholders are considering available options with regard to the implementation of the single spine pay policy.

?There is no denying that the deficit is an issue. I wish to?assure?the [general public] that in the 2014 we made progress on subsidy, petroleum was?reversed?,?? he stated.

Source citifmonline.com

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