The Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region, Hon. Samuel Okudzoto Ablakwa has asked the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government to cut off some expenditure he thought are completely needless from the 2021 so call 'Moving Forward' budget. If government is appealing to the citizens to share the burden by taxing, then the money should be used for something substantial that will benefit all Ghanaians in return.
The Technical Adviser at the Finance Ministry, Mr. Samuel Nii Noi Ashong recently made a statement that, there is currently no money available which would be used to increase the wages of workers in the public sector. According to him, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy has forced the government into tightening its belts and channeling money to other sectors of the economy.
If that is the case, then Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is admonishing President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) team to lead by example by eradicating these 'unnecessary' expenditure from their budget:
(1) Other Critical Spending of GHS 500,000,000: President Akufo-Addo is yet to explain to Parliament what he meant by other critical spending. If Ghana have revenue such that a whooping amount of GHS 500 million could be set aside for miscellaneous expenditure then we have a serious mismanagement leaders as a country.
(2) Salaries of public servants cannot be increased but a huge GHS 823,880,668 has been allocated by this government as a compensation (salaries) for staff at the Office of Government Machinery (OGM). This is the problem we have as a country. The top officials continue to enjoy increased allowances and salaries as the ordinary are taxed for it.
(3) The Goods and Services allocation of the Office of Government Machinery (OGM) has been increased from GHS 356,787,229 in 2020 to GHS 501,708,024 in 2021, an impressive addition of GHS 144,920,795. This the same government who is lamenting of no money in the country but the question is: where will these additional monies come from? It seems like government is trying to rob Peter to pay Paul. The Opposition Party (NDC) Members of Parliament must ensure that these monies are reduced drastically for the betterment of all Ghanaians.
(4) Government is also requesting Parliament to approve a Contingency Vote of a whopping GHS186,829,891. It is instructive to note that Ex President John Dramani Mahama's Contingency Vote in 2016 was only GHS67,025,646.
5) The GHS 4million being sought for government communications which it describes as a flagship programme at page 241 of the Budget is absolutely needless. These five items listed above amount to a mind-boggling GHS1.52 billion. We should all tighten our belts as government seems to create avenue for luxurious living for his officials as the citizens are meant to pay for it.
Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa concluded, "This is a government that has carried out substantial cuts in the allocations for the Judiciary, NCCE (Goods & Services), Free SHS, MASLOC, NABCO and many others yet refuses to control its appetite for big spending on its creature comforts. It is therefore not surprising that many Ghanaians including organized labour refuse to be convinced by its draconian revenue measures.
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