Exemption of pension funds from debt exchange must stand – CLOGSAG

Executive Secretary of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association Ghana (CLOGSAG), Dr Isaac Bampoe Addo has accused the government of being inconsistent with the exemption of pensions of organized labour.

Dr. Bampoe disclosed that organized labour is sceptical of the government’s assurance of exempting their pensions due to the inconsistencies in the pronouncements of some ministers and communicators of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Dr. Bampoe said organized labour expects the government to fulfil its side of the bargain with regard to the debt exchange programme, but this seems not to be the case.

“Our understanding is that pension funds have been exempted from the domestic debt exchange programme, and we expect the government to fulfil its side of the agreement, but if a minister could not state on radio what the Minister of Finance has signed with us, why wouldn’t it bring doubt in the minds of our members?”

Dr. Bampoe referenced a radio interview with Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and said “the Minister should have been clear that pension funds are exempted, but he was in doubt about whether pension funds were part of the domestic debt exchange programme or not and that has brought doubt about the MoU that we signed with the government, so we have to assure our members that we will resist the programme.”

“We are reassuring our members and the government that to the best of our knowledge, the exemptions should stand,” he added.

He further stressed that organized labour will certainly have a meeting with the Employment and Labour Minister to ascertain what was communicated to government communicators with regard to exemptions of pensions of organized labour.

“We are yet to have an interaction with the Employment and Labour Minister to really know what is happening at the Ministry of Finance because if an MoU has been signed with the Ministry of Finance, then all the government ministries should be speaking with one voice.”

Organized labour released a statement on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 1, reiterating its resistance against the government’s domestic debt exchange programme and assured that any attempts to repackage the programme to include pension funds will be fiercely rejected.