GNAT doubts government’s assurance on social protection programs amid IMF bailout

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GNAT Logo

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has expressed skepticism regarding the government’s assurance that social intervention initiatives will remain intact despite the commencement of the bailout program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

During a joint press conference held on Thursday, May 18, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reiterated that the government has implemented specific measures to bolster social protection programs and has allocated additional resources to key initiatives.

One significant development highlighted by the Finance Minister is the increased funding for the school feeding program.

However, speaking to the media house, GNAT’s General Secretary, Thomas Musah, argued that the Finance Minister’s statements contradict what was outlined in the 2023 budget statement.

“The Minister’s remarks and the information provided do not align with what is stated in the 2023 budget. In paragraph 223, it clearly states that relevant recommendations from the ongoing review of government’s flagship programs, under the policy expenditure exercise undertaken by the World Bank, will be implemented during the review process,” Thomas Musah said.

“When making a promise, it must be based on a premise. Are we reducing or increasing funding for these programs? These are the questions we want answers to, and we need clarification on the basis for the Minister’s statements. The Capitation Grant has been in arrears for over two years, and we have heard complaints from caterers regarding the school feeding program. We need written confirmation to ensure that it’s not just business as usual. We require a paradigm shift towards doing things right,” he added again.

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The Finance Minister, however, reiterated the government’s unwavering commitment to protecting vulnerable groups and emphasized that there is no reason for alarm.

He affirmed that President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo has made it abundantly clear that the welfare of vulnerable groups will not be compromised.

St├ęphane Roudet, the IMF Mission Chief for Ghana, acknowledged the significance of social protection programs within the country’s economic framework.

Roudet emphasized that the establishment and reinforcement of such initiatives are key objectives of the IMF collaboration.

SOURCE: Coverghana.com.gh

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