Cost of Living
Addressing the cost of living by supporting living wages.
Ghana remains a high cost location for many goods and services. This is putting a severe burden on family budgets.
While most of the country is improving its price competitiveness in government sectors, in areas where the Government has no influence prices are going up instead of down.
This is counterproductive as it will reduce the living standards and purchasing power of households.
The main price increases in the past several years have been in household utilities, fuel, tobacco, transport related costs. Private transport costs have increased. Fuel inflation is running at multiples of the wider economy.
The GGP will take the following actions to reduce the cost of living:
Reform the banking sector to reduce the cost of credit and bank charges
Force medical insurance companies to tackle waste to decrease costs.
Invest in infrastructure to reduce journey times for consumers and businesses.
Force members of regulated professions to meet strict price transparency requirements including meaningful cost estimates to prospective customers.
Make it easier for businesses to operate efficiently by providing quality broadband.
Require utility companies to improve price transparency
Tackle private transport costs by talking to the private transport companies and providing fuel subsidies
Working to keep our streets and communities safe.
The GGP believes in a strong, well-resourced, well managed and efficient Ghana Police Force (GPF). We are committed to strengthening the Police Force to a significant number and maintaining numbers at this optimal level.
We believe that there should be a good link between the Police Force and the communities they serve, and the GGP in Government will make this happen.
We believe that a significant investment programme must be undertaken to update the technology the GPF currently use to allow for smarter policing in our communities and the proper targeting of resources.
We propose that the neighbourhood watch programme (not vigilantes) should be set up in our communities and expanded.
We’ll commit to establishing a national neighbourhood watch directorate to centrally support and drive community neighbourhood watch programmes across the country. This will be central to tackling crime and in particular burglaries. They will be the eyes and ears of the PF.
Our current criminal justice system is not fit for purpose. Our justice system is not working for victims or our communities.
The GGP believes that Ghana needs to build a criminal justice system which not only acts to deter criminal activity but also allows for restorative justice to the victim and the community in which the crime was committed. We commit to expanding the use of restorative justice in our criminal justice system where appropriate and ensure that community service orders and in castrations are fit for purpose and monitored effectively.
Fighting for a fairer spending across the entire country.
The GGP believes it’s time to re-imagine rural Ghana and place it at the heart of future growth. This means rolling out mobile telephone services to every rural community, retaining vital local services, promoting indigenous industry and keeping the family farm alive. Rural Ghana must continue to be a place where families can live, work and play.
Promoting Jobs – People follow jobs and job creation is vital to the long term future of rural Ghana. The GGP will revamp the Local Enterprise Offices to support rural business, enhance Rural Funding and target infrastructural investment to ensure businesses can set up and thrive in the rural areas.
Mobile Telephone – The GGP will prioritise the roll out of mobile telephone services in every rural area across the country. This connectivity is both economically and socially vital. These services will enable the rural folks to be digitally connected and afford the rural businesses a chance to communicate and do business with the rest of the world. It will also afford the rural folks to set up new businesses and connect families to the broader world.
Supporting Towns and Villages – The GGP will reduce commercial rates for businesses, enhance restrictions on out of town shopping centres and promote development and residential housing back in town centres.
Retaining Services – The GGP is committed to retaining existing public services across the country. We will also review additional state departments and agencies that can be redeployed and rolled out in low cost areas across the country.
Agriculture – Agriculture is the beating heart of rural Ghana. The GGP is committed to securing a fair price for farmer’s products, ensuring the future of the family farm model and introducing the concepts of bigger and better farms and farming techniques.
Rural Housing – Local people deserve to be able to live in their own communities. The GGP will promote a sustainable housing policy to ensure social housing investment and planning strategies enable people to live in their home communities. Rural living cannot be confined to a select few.
A fair health service with real delivery for patients at affordable fees
The GGP believes in a strong public health system with quality services as close to people as is practically possible. After all the major resource of the country is it's citizens. So a good healthcare system is a essential to tap into this resource.
We believe, a system of compulsory health insurance will improve services for patients and it will actually introduce efficiencies and reduce wastage.
The GGP believes that we need to provide more resources for healthcare. People are the greatest and important resources we’ve as a nation. There needs to be more healthcare centres across the country. We also need to employ more health care professionals and officials to look after our citizens.
We are committed to investing in Ghana’s health care systems which we see as crucial for preventing the development of conditions that could ultimately require hospital care.
The GGP will re-balance the health budget towards primary care. And for us the GP or trained health care official must be at the heart of primary care.
The GGP values our family health professionals like the doctors, nurses etc and we appreciate the work they do and believes that their services must be properly resourced and remunerated. We also believe that we need more of them.
Mental health issues continue to have a devastating impact on our society. We propose the establishment of a National Mental Health Authority to be charged with leading an all-out national programme to promote positive attitudes to mental health and reduce the number of people with mental issues we find in our communities all across the country.
The GGP also believes that we must provide more resources for the care of our elderly citizens.
Building a world class education system to equip the next generation to compete globally.
The GGP's Vision for Education
The GGP as a party will prioritise education.
Our current Education System is in shambles. There are also still far too many communities who are not fully participating in the benefits of education. There are also far too many children with disabilities and special needs who are not being given the resources and support to fully engage in their education. This requires an ambitious strategy and sustained investment at all levels of our education system.
At primary level, this can be done by revitalising small rural and urban schools, fixing school infrastructure and by reducing and eventually eliminating the need for parents and guardians of pupils to pay school fees and also make contributions to keep the school gates open.
At secondary level, the careers information and guidance to young people has deteriorated severely leaving too many young people at risk of making poor choices that they regret later and from which it is difficult to escape. This is why we need to introduce guidance counsellors to schools as a matter of priority as well as continuing to make measured reforms to curriculum and assessment.
The lack of Government policies over the last number of years have left deep marks on the third level education sector. Also the lack of funding from the government over the years for universities and institutes of technology has pushed these institutions to the financial brink. This is unsustainable and has to be addressed with substantial funding increases in the years ahead.
Finally, the Further Education (FE) and Adult Education (AE) sectors have not been given the attention they deserve or require to provide high quality, career focused training. In Ghana, there is a suspicion that FE and AE learners are of lesser ability, which is a prejudice that we all need to work to overcome as a priority.
Reducing school failure, improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils and ensuring fair and equitable access to higher and further education for all pupils is a key priority in GGP’s educational policy agenda. It is not acceptable that the patterns of low educational attainment exist alongside above-average unemployment, emigration, ill health and high levels of exclusions.
As a society, we should always prioritise investments in education and we will need to continue to do so if we’re to have an inclusive, merit-based and quality system of education for all.
The GGP believes in a fair and balanced taxation system which rewards work, funds vital public services and encourages enterprise.
We'll outline a series of priority areas for tax reform
· Simplify the tax system & collection
· Recognise the importance of ability to pay
· Make it mandatory for every citizen age 21 years plus (except in education or of ill health)
· Increase tax rates for the wealthy
· Address the anomaly where the self-employed are allowed to get away with under paying taxes or not paying at all.
· Revise the threshold for corporate taxes
For most developing countries, tax revenue lies somewhere between 10% and 15% of gross domestic product. That’s low compared with an average of about 35% for developed countries.
Low tax revenues means the government is able to fund only the most basic services, such as policing, the courts and the armed forces, universal access to healthcare or education, infrastructure and a social safety net. In short, the foundations for a decent and prosperous society calls for an efficient tax system (not necessarily higher taxes).
The GGP need to toughen up on taxes to realise the benefits for Ghana.
To achieve this, we will have to, at last, realise the full potential of developing countries. This is known as domestic resource mobilisation, and it all starts with higher rates of tax revenue collection.
In order to be able to finance ourselves through taxation the GGP will have to increase tax revenue collection to about 50% of GDP at least.
We see three main areas for action.
First, ensure fair taxation. The urgency here is overwhelming. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that multinationals avoid $100bn worth of corporation tax in developing countries. Governments and international institutions now have to make good on promises to fight tax avoidance and tax evasion.
Secondly, strengthen tax inspectors. Developing countries need support to broaden their tax base and build tax collection capacity. Recently, the Netherlands started giving technical assistance on this subject to developing countries, and we plan to ask the Dutch and British governments for help.
Countries that want to use these extra resources will need to express the political will to reform their tax systems. In developing countries, tax systems often have a regressive effect because they tend to rely heavily on consumption taxes, like VAT and excise duty, or on import levies. The poor end up paying a relatively high amount of tax because they spend all their income on goods subject to VAT, such as groceries and phone credit. And they pay import levies on their mobiles. There is no tax-free shopping for the poor.
Thirdly, broaden the tax base. Developing countries need more capacity to administer and collect more complex forms of tax, like income and wealth taxes. Apart from VAT, countries need a progressive income tax regime. Because the poor are often hit harder by income tax too.
Revise our treaties with developed countries. Anti-abuse provisions – defining which companies get access to the treaty benefits – will ensure that the developed countries like the Netherlands, the UK & US are no longer an attractive option for companies that use tax avoidance tactics.
These anti-abuse provisions are meant to exclude companies that only establish themselves in a third state to benefit from tax treaty advantages through that country, without having any other activities in that third state.
Finally, we’ll be more discerning with wealthy countries that award tax exemptions. The Netherlands for example is now putting its money where its mouth is. Along with other countries, they are prepared to forgo tax exemptions on goods and services that fall under official development assistance.
The task before us is daunting but we’ll crack on with it.
Above all, we'll find ways for a developing country like us to increase our tax revenues. That will enable us to unleash our full potential at last.
Science & Technology
We’ll take unprecedented steps to use Science & Technology as tools to look after our citizens, restore faith, transparency, and accountability to government, and the GGP will fight to look after & protect our citizens so that we can harness the ingenuity and experience of all Ghanaians to increase efficiency and effectiveness of government.
The GGP will work to close the "digital divide," expanding access to high-speed broadband internet. We recognise that broadband is an important addition to our national infrastructure so we’ll expand our access to information and education while serving as a central resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs to generate our much needed economic growth.
A Greener Ghana
Ghana has a wealth of natural resources which we will harness and use responsibly for the good of the country. By continuing to set ourselves ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions we will protect our environment for future generations. We will encourage communities to be involved in the land they live in and to protect, use and manage them properly for the next generations. We’ll also support community ownership.
We are also proud of Ghana’s wildlife and would like to do more to protect them. Currently we have no systems in place to track and protect them. We plan to form partnerships with Private and International organisations and foreign countries worldwide to help us manage our wildlife better (efficiently and effectively). By acting locally we can help show the way globally.
We aim to make Ghana a wildlife tourist destination.
We will continue to invest in domestic energy efficiency, to help reduce bills on fossil fuels as well as carbon emissions, and we will designate energy efficiency as a National Infrastructure Priority.
We are also taking forward plans for land reform to make sure we get the most from our land (rural and urban) and its resources, now and for future generations. We want communities to have a say in how land in their area is used and managed, and to tackle the causes and consequences of inequality and poor land management.
We'll harness our use of solar energy and wind power to generate electricity to power our homes and industries. We've relied on hydro power for far too long.
We'll reduce our use of fossils like charcoal and the like to regulate CO2 emissions and help in the global efforts in arresting or slowing down climate change which is a threat not only to our economy, security but also to our health and future prosperity.
Defence & Security
The GGP pledges to spend at least 5% of GDP on defence and security. We believe that the country has a responsibility to sustain our fine Armed Forces so that they can defend our territories and help Police Service to maintain law and order internally.
We promise to maintain the overall size of the Armed Forces with an Army capable of defending our country.
We also promise to expand the Police and Prison services to help fight crime and lawlessness. We believe that crime has no place in any progressive and modern country.
We’ll invest in new military, police and prison personnel, facilities and equipment over the next 10 years to help equip and resource our servicemen to do their jobs efficiently.
We pledge to ensure that the skills and qualifications gained in service by our security services are recognised by civilian employers to help in any transitions should that arise.
The party further promises to continue to provide strong support to an international order in which rules govern state conduct. We’ll deploy soldiers in support of UN resolutions and mandates.
Creating a Wealthier and Prosperous Ghana
The GGP is committed to creating a wealthier, more prosperous and successful Ghana. We want Ghana to flourish, with opportunities for all as part of a fairer economy. We promise to build strong foundations for Ghana’s economy But there’s much more we want to do. We can deliver more and better paid jobs, share the fruits of success amongst all our citizens more equally and create stronger, more sustainable growth.
Our vision is of a Ghana with a competitive, fairer and a more sustainable economy. The GGP would like Ghana to be the most competitive place to do business and to invest in Africa.
We'll encourage Ghanaian businesses to grow and expand, both at home and overseas.
We'll also help Ghanaian businesses to develop, and will introduce a new multi million dollar fund to provide investment to small and medium sized businesses.
The GGP is committed to creating jobs across Ghana and will continue to push for the devolution of powers to all the Regions of Ghana over job creation, welfare and wages to allow us to make policies best suited to Ghana’s labour market.
The GGP will appoint a Minister for Youth Employment and will make youth and women’s employment a priority. Substantial support will be offered to young people through Modern Apprenticeship schemes and a dedicated Employability Fund. These measures will help us to work towards our ambition to reduce youth unemployment by a significant percentage.
To help achieve our goal of a fairer and a more sustainable economy we’ll encourage businesses to pay a decent and fairer wage. We’ll make a Pledge - The Ghanaian Business Pledge, which will also demonstrate our desire to encourage businesses to invest in young people, progress diversity and pay a decent and fairer Wage.