Nii Moi Thompson: Even Obama Has Problems Implementing Policies

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Economic Advisor at the Presidency, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, wants Ghanaians to give Government a break, for the execution of the single spine pay policy deemed to have been poorly done.

According to him, even US President Barrack Obama is having challenges implementing his flagship policy, Obamacare -the law aime at reforming the American health care system.

Admitting to challenges regarding successful implementing of the Single Spine Salary Structure on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme Saturday, Dr. Thompson stated: “With respect to implementation challenges, no one disputes that. This happens with policies everywhere, I am sure you followed Obama’s health care [website] ” .

President Obama has had to apologise after his Obamacare website experienced several technical glitches leaving Americans frustrated and unable to sign up for the policy.

Ghana’s government has also had to take a beating on the implementation of the single spine pay policy meant to bring industrial harmony.

There was an unsightly labour storm last year, after teachers, lecturers, senior university staff, doctors, pharmacists and judicial service workers
unleashed their fury on government over payment of market premiums.

At the end of 2008, the Government wage bill amounted to GH¢1.98 billion, representing 41.3 percent of total domestic revenue of GH¢4.8 billion. By the end of 2012, after 99 percent implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure, the government wage bill jumped to GH¢6.6 billion.

Former Minister of State, Dr. Akoto Osei had stated that it was bad for government to implement the policy when it had not figured how it was going to pay market premiums – an allowance paid for services deemed critical.

Dr. Akoto Osei said government in effect, doubled salaries when it paid an 18 per cent increase in earnings of public sector workers already getting 16 per cent to 35 per cent increase under the Single Spine Salary.

“The implementation was bad, very, very bad. Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has messed us up,” he said.

But in his response, Dr. Thompson noted, even advanced countries famed with strong institutions such as the U.S, do not get it right all the time with policy implementation.

He was, however, convinced government would overcome the challenges associated with the pay policy to reduce the wage bill.

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