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Entrepreneurs trying to survive Covid-19 will be drawn back by wages bill – GAWU

General Secretary of the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union, Edward Kareweh says despite the insurgence of Covid-19 and the economic tension that came with it, some entrepreneurs are doing quite well in terms of profit in their various businesses.

Speaking in an interview with JoyNews’ George Wiafe, on the topic ‘Managing workers’ compensation within a pandemic’, the General Secretary stressed that although some businesses were doing their best, the majority of employees and entrepreneurs are struggling coupled with the introduction of the wages bill.

“Employers are not being affected equally by Covid-19. In fact, there are some employers and workers that have benefitted from the pandemic.

“Some employers have been able to increase salaries, some to the extent of over 10%,” he added.

In his view, due to existing disparities, the Government needs to set up a system that mandates a particular group of wealthy entrepreneurs to pay the wages.

“We need to know who actually fits the wage belt, we need to interrogate it, we can’t just talk about generality. We need to know who is in, when we do that, then we will be able to know who should sacrifice more.”

The Majority Leader told Parliament on Friday, March 12, 2021, when he delivered this year’s budget statement that the amount “represents a growth of 13.7 percent above the outturn of GH¢100,052 million recorded in 2020.”

“Mr Speaker, current wages and salaries are projected to amount to GHS25,799 million and constitute 22.7 percent of the total expenditure (including arrears clearance) for 2021”, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said.

As a percentage of GDP. the wage bill is projected to be 5.9 percent in 2021 compared to the 6.5 percent recorded in 2020.

But Mr Kareweh says the amount to be paid as wages will cripple sme businesses trying to survive after the shocks of Covid-19.

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