SEND Ghana, a non-governmental organization (NGO,) has called on government to focus on the Ghana Living Standard Survey seven (GLSS7) to address the issue of poverty and inequality in the country.
Speaking at a stakeholder meeting yesterday, a representative of SEND Ghana, Rachael Gyabaah, said “As a country we need to sit and use data. We cannot just sit and put together initiatives and policies without focusing on this data.”
Statistics from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) contained in the GLSS7 indicates that poverty has been declining consistently for the past three decades as a result of governments’ policies.
Between 2006 and 2017, the number of poor people in the country reduced from seven million to 6.8 million.
The survey shows that between 2012 and 2017, poverty declined from 24.2% to 23.4%, with 8.7percent of Ghanaians still being extremely poor.
The policy think-tank restated the need for government to review the tax system to address the issue of poverty and inequality in the country.
Miss Gyabaah said “We shouldn’t bring tax systems that will affect the poor the more be able to tax the rich the more to be able to fend for the poor.”
Concluding, she called for the immediate passage of the Social Protection Bill.
A representative from the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection, Mr. Thomas Boateng Quaison, said the ministry is developing a project which aims at targeting all extremely poor households in the country.
“The issue of the categorical targeting is going to be dropped such that those individuals who are extremely poor who the program does not reach out to, will also be targeted and if they qualify we will reach out to them. Per our data we have over 1.7million individuals on the LEAP program database. So roughly around 71 percent of the extreme poor basket as per the GLS7,” he said.
The conference is a follow-up to a maiden one held last year.
It focused on discussions around the poverty profile emanating out of the round seven of the Ghana Living Standard Survey.
By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum