NDC Youth Wing condemns 'insignificant' increment in allowance for NSS personnel

The Youth Wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has condemned the government's insufficient increase in the national service allowance.

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The National Service Scheme secretariat (NSS) has announced an increase in the monthly stipend for personnel of the scheme.

The secretariat disclosed that the government has given clearance for the allowance to be increased from GH¢559.04 to GH¢715.57 effective January 2023.

It said all National Service Personnel who are currently in active service are entitled to arrears for the difference in the upward adjustment from January 2023 and would be paid accordingly.

But the NDC Youth Wing said despite the supposed upward adjustment, the amount remains woefully inadequate, causing hardship for service personnel with prolonged payment delays.

In a statement signed by the National Youth Organiser, George Opare Addo said considering the dire financial conditions in the country with the inflation rate hovering around 42%, a 27% increase is far from satisfactory and goes against the Fair Wages & Salaries Commission's recommendations adding that if the government truly cared about improving the livelihoods of the service personnel, it would have taken the recommendations into account and provided a more substantial allowance.

He said the current allowance does not align with the high cost of living, especially considering the increasing accommodation expenses, with over 50% of service personnel residing in rented apartments.

The recent price hikes in essential goods and services further exacerbate the situation, making it clear that the government's action is politically expedient and insensitive.

He said the notion that the government should be applauded for the gesture amidst the economic downturn is absurd especially at the time the immediate-past Sanitation Minister Cecilia Abena Dapaah allegedly stash huge sums of illegal monies at home.

Service personnel endure months without their allowances, making it evident that the government needs to do more to fulfill its responsibilities, he added.

Opare Addo emphasized that a meaningful increase in the service personnel allowance is crucial and should reflect the realities of the high cost of living.

He said under the leadership of John Mahama, there was a commendable about 60% increase from GH¢350 to GH¢559.04 in the National Service Allowance at a time when the inflation rate was just about 17%, which brought relief to many personnel, showcasing true leadership compared to the cosmetic attempts of the current government.

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