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Don’t dare touch our pensions in debt exchange programme – TUC warns Ofori-Atta

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has kicked against the government’s ongoing debt exchange programme as the economy keeps failing.

Government’s debt restructuring policy announced by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is likely to have adverse effects on bonds, with talks of 30% haircuts causing fear and panic within the local investor community.

While the Minority in Parliament has vowed to use all legal means to stop the programme, the TUC believes the development will bring hardship on its members because they are likely to lose part of their investments.

Speaking on Inside Politics on Power 97.9FM Monday, the Deputy Secretary General of TUC,  Joshua Ansah, sent out a warning to government not to touch pension funds in its planned debt exchange programme.

“The government must not touch our pension funds. They don’t have to touch our funds,” Mr Ansah told host Mugabe Maase.

He lamented government’s failure to engage with organized labour before proceeding with the announcement and rollout of the programme.

Also, Mr Ansah noted that the government treating organized labour like an afterthought in the debt exchange programme was a disappointing and unfair development.

“We are really disappointed in the government for treating TUC and organised labour like an afterthought,” he said as he warned the government not to tamper with their future livelihood.

“Pension is something that is meant for our future, and if government wants to have a debt restructuring, they dare not touch our pensions. They can’t kill our future,” he warned.

Reactions from experts

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Corporate Trustees has rejected the Debt Exchange Programme announced by the government.

In a statement, the Chamber said accepting the programme will be injurious to the interest of contributors to pension schemes.

The statement signed by Thomas Kwesi Esso also advised pension providers and administrators to engage further with the government for an improvement to the terms of the restructuring.

According to the Chamber, the proposal by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta is “inferior to market expectations and will destroy the savings of Ghanaians and further undermine market confidence”.



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