Following the presentation of the 2020 Budget by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in Parliament last Wednesday, the Minority (comprising members of the opposition National Democratic Congress – NDC) says Ghanaians are worse off under the current Akufo-Addo administration than they were under the erstwhile Mahama administration.
Describing the 2020 Budget as a ‘Bye Bye Budget’ after its reading, the minority in Parliament insisted that the Akufo-Addo-led government has been economical with the truth to Ghanaians, especially on the realities in relation to the economy.
And so far all the minority Members of Parliament (MPs) who have spoken on the budget have expressed one thing—disappointment!
According to the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, he had expected the finance minister to correct all the fiscal misreporting in the budget.
Unfortunately, he said that was not the case.
Continuing, the raking finance committee member said he was sad when he read the details of the budget, especially the aspect where the government said it was going to borrow from the Eurobond market for infrastructure.
Mr Forson said it was a fact that the government could not provide infrastructure for senior high schools, which had led to the double-track system; meanwhile, Ghanaians paid taxes to the government to undertake infrastructure projects.
He said the National Health Insurance contribution amounted to GH¢2.5 million, but only GH¢2 million went into the coffers of the NHIS, while, he alleged, the remaining GH¢500 million could not be accounted for.
In the view of Mr Forson, the same applied to the Road Fund, where GH¢1.7 billion was supposed to go to the fund but only GH¢1 billion found its way, leaving GH¢700 million.
Another NDC member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Mr Fiifi Kwetey, was also disappointed.
In his view, the NPP had performed poorly looking the resources available to them.
Mr Kwetey averred that the government had not done much to provide the infrastructure Ghanaians needed. This, he said, was enough reason Ghanaians would vote out the NPP in the 2020 poll.
According to him, the government’s claim that it had reduced taxes was not true, as it was taking more taxes from the utilities.
Meanwhile, a cross-section of Ghanaians has expressed misgivings about the finance minister’s statement in the budget that the government will largely focus and prioritise road projects across the country.
The move is to improve infrastructure in that sector and bring an end to the loud cries of Ghanaians for better roads.
But, interacting with residents in areas where their roads are dangerous and laden with loads of potholes, they intimidated that they will only believe what the finance minister has said if they see their roads under construction.
And anything short of that they stressed that they will advise themselves so far as election 2020 is concerned.
“We have given politicians in this country too much space for them to be lying to us. It is about that we made the aware that power indeed resides with the people. That will manifest next year which is an election, a tro-tro driver of Manhean in the Ga West Municipal Assembly, Greater Accra Region, Nii Akwandor, remonstrated to Weekend Today.
Furthermore, some of the respondents told our reporter that though the Akufo-Addo administration can take credit for implementing the free Senior High School (SHS) programme, the painful truth was that many Ghanaians were still wallowing in poverty.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU