Manifesto Comparison NDC’s promises on social protection: 2012 vs 2016

The NDC always pride themselves as social democrats. This means they support economic and social protection to promote social justice. One would thus expect that they pay more attention to the social protection sector.

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Every government must have a policy for the vulnerable in the country. Social protection consists of policies and programs designed purposely to reduce poverty and vulnerability.

This is done by introducing programmes that reduce people’s exposure to risks, promoting efficient labour markets and enhancing capacity to manage economic and social risks such as unemployment, exclusion, sickness, disability and old age.

The NDC always pride themselves as social democrats. This means they support economic and social protection to promote social justice. One would thus expect that they pay more attention to the social protection sector. 

In both 2012 and 2016, the NDC dedicated 3 pages to this sector in it 76-page and 80-page Manifesto documents respectively.

In 2012 this sector was sub-themed ‘Harmonised Social Protection’, while in 2016 it has been sub-themed ‘Consolidating Social Protection’.

READ ALSO: You can't 'fool' Ghanaians any longer - NPP to Mahama

This tells the NDC believe that they have brought enough harmony into the sector, and that they now need to consolidate it. But, curiously consolidation seems to have been used as a simile for harmony. Could it be that the NDC is just playing with words?

Just as every sector, they did not forget to let anybody who has access to the manifesto know of their achievements before promises. They mentioned what they believed were achievements in the area. 

Some of these achievements include meeting a target of the Millennium Development Goal by halving extreme poverty two years ahead of the 2015 deadline; shutting down the witches camp at Bonyase in the Northern Region, as well as starting the registration of all 1.7million pupils in school-feeding schools on the NHIS.

READ ALSO: NDC's promises on education: 2012 vs 2016

In 2012 they projected to increase LEAP beneficiaries from 71, 000 to 146,074. In the 2016 manifesto, the NDC promises to increase the beneficiary households to 350,000 by end of 2021. Daring but achievable. The question is where the funds will come from since most donor agencies are cutting down on their expenditure. 

The manifesto also promises to pay more attention to the fishing communities in both inland and onshore areas as well as in the Zongos. These areas will be the major beneficiaries of LEAP and will also “be one of the earliest beneficiaries of the Progressively Free S.H.S. intervention while we work to ensure the substantial transformation of these communities under the Economic Transformation and Livelihood Empowerment Programme (ETLEP).”

Just as they mentioned in 2012, if they win the 2016 elections, they plan to continue the improvement of the targeting of social protection interventions to cater for excluded groups “such as out-of-school children, child-headed households, people with severe disabilities, lepers and the aged and urban poor.”

An NDC government in the next four years will ensure the National Health Insurance Scheme and other programs for the vulnerable are developed. 

For the physically challenged in the society, if NDC wins the 2016 elections, they would “introduce motorised transport (tricycles) for physically challenged persons.”

Before this is done, though, demonstration models would be given to the National Federation of Disabled Persons for evaluation. 

An NDC government from 2017-2021 will upgrade the EBAN card into an electronic card for financial transactions. They would also introduce a Special Economic Scheme for Senior Citizens (SPESSEC) under which vulnerable senior citizens above 65 years who are not on any formal pension scheme will be granted a bi-monthly stipend by the State.

Interestingly, under the Social Protection segment of the NDC’s 2012 Manifesto, the party penned down its vision for children, persons with disability and women, promising their empowerment. In this year’s manifesto, however, there is nothing like that.

Is this to say the NDC has no plan specifically for women and children if they are to govern Ghana from 2017 to 2021?

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