Bawumia pledges to assist labour institutions to protect workers

Bawumia said if by the end of this year, the new Labour Act is not reviewed, he would make sure it is reviewed and passed under his administration to protect workers

Vice-President and presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday (29 May) assured the Trades Union Congress (TUC) that he will help strengthen the National Labour Commission (NLC) under his Presidency by ensuring that it has offices established across the country.

Dr Bawumia said that would make sure the NLC operates effectively and on a full-time basis.

The presidential candidate was speaking during a meeting with the membership of the TUC in Accra

Bawumia said if by the end of this year, the new Labour Act is not reviewed, he would make sure it is reviewed and passed under his administration to protect workers.

The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) regulates employment and labour issues in Ghana.

The Act consolidates all laws relating to labour, employers, trade unions and industrial relations.

The National Labour Commission (NLC) administers the laws related to labour and employment.

Dr Bawumia reiterated his plans to implement a flat tax rate in 2025 after granting tax amnesty to every individual in the country.

On stabilising the cedi from further depreciation, he said the Bank of Ghana (BoG) having adequate gold reserves would provide the stability the Ghanaian currency required to prevent frequent depreciation.

To that end, Bawumia said, his government would make sure all gold concessions would be owned by Ghanaians while gold processed in the country was sold to the central bank to shore up the country’s reserves.

His government would resource the Geological Survey Authority and technical universities to undertake exploration of the seven gold belts in the country to ensure that the gold concessions produced positive outcomes.

He repeated his plans to establish a Minerals Development Bank to support small-scale miners to source funding for their businesses, noting that the sector could generate three billion dollars annually.

On improving fiscal discipline, the NPP presidential candidate gave the assurance that his administration would make sure the Fiscal Responsibility Council operated independently with oversight over the Ministry of Finance.

He promised to downsize his government’s expenditure by 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP), which amounted to about GHc30 billion every year.

Dr Bawumia reaffirmed his commitment not to appoint more than 50 Ministers under his administration.

On constitutional matters, the NPP Flagbearer pledged to review Article 87 of the 1992 Constitution and National Development Planning Commission Act, (Act 479) to align with the development aspirations of the nation.

Dr Anthony Yaw Baah, the general secretary of TUC, in his welcome remarks, said it had received four presidential candidates since November 2023 and believed they had good plans for the nation.

He was convinced the ideas, systems, and institutions were ingredients for transforming a country and even joked that if it is possible, the two major political parties, the NDC and NPP could form an alliance to implement a “24-hour Economy with Digitisation,” which drew spontaneous laughter from the gathering.

Dr Baah presented the TUC’s manifesto which highlighted six key thematic areas: social and human development, economic policy, labour market policy, energy and power, governance policy, and climate change and environmental policy.

Dr Baah stated that those six thematic areas were the key pillars the TUC’s engagements with the Presidential candidates hinged upon and believed would be crucial in transforming the nation.

The TUC presented 10 copies of its manifesto to Dr Bawumia.

Accompanying the NPP presidential candidate were Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the chairman of the NPP manifesto committee, Joseph Cudjoe, Minister of Public Enterprises and Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

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