Minority says Ghana is going through hardship

Dr Cassiel Ato Forson
Dr Cassiel Ato Forson

The Minority in Parliament says the country is going through hardship with the citizenry tired of the mishandling of the economic circumstances.

“Mr Speaker, let us be minded that this country is going through hardships already, the people of Ghana are already tired of the mishandling of the economic circumstances,” Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, Ranking Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee said.

Commenting on the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, Dr Forson described the budget as “K) fie k) wuo budget which had nothing to write home about and failed to address the problems of the ordinary Ghanaian.”

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance, Friday, November 25 moved the motion for debate on the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy and was seconded by Mr Joseph Cudjoe, Member of Parliament, Effia Constituency on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party on Tuesday, November 29.

Dr Forson added that unemployment among the teeming youth was particularly more than 50 per cent and was going to be high following the government’s freeze on civil and public institutions’ employment yet, the budget failed to reform concerns but increased the effective rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) to 22 per cent.

“Mr Speaker, this budget is ” K) fie k) wuo budget”, it is not inspirational, it is dead on arrival, and it is going to impose additional taxes on the people.

“I worry that we should all pray for the republic of Ghana for the way things are going under this administration,” he said.

According to Mr Forson, in 2023, the budget would be severe and introduce extreme austerity.

He urged Ghanaians to brace up for maximum hardship, worse than what they had gone through in 1979 and I983 as the budget offered nothing but an intensive and severe hardship that they introduced.

“So clearly to the youth of this country, there is a freeze of employment, there is no hope for you, nothing more is happening to ordinary traders.

“Tax is going to go up and the people of Ghana, be ready that prices of goods and services are going to go up because of the increase in Value Added Tax,” he said.

Dr Forson, therefore, called on the House to have a critical look at the budget before its approval.

By Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and section 21 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) the Mr Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presented the 2023 Annual Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government to Parliament on Thursday, November 24.

Among other things, the 2023 Budget focused on Government’s strategies to restore and stabilise the macro economy, build resilience and promote inclusive growth and value creation

It also featured updates on Ghana’s engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an IMF-supported Programme; year-to-date macro-fiscal performance of the economy; the YouStart initiative under the Ghana CARES Programme; climate action strategies; fiscal measures and debt management strategies to ensure fiscal and debt sustainability and promote growth.

Dubbed: “Unity Budget”, it was on the theme: “Restoring and Sustaining Macroeconomic Stability and Resiliance through Inclusive Growth and Value Creation.”

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