Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam in the Central Region of Ghana, and former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson has raised some doubts about the said solutions and reliefs the Akufo-Addo government is promising Ghanaians in the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy. In what he simply described with a hashtag throughout his tweets after the budget reading by Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu today, Dr. Ato Forson labelled it as a 'Bitter Budget'.
His reasons were that there are no positive indicators to any economic rebound as the national coffers had been dried up, and that public debt had ballooned beyond margins over the past years under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He used #BitterBudget in a series of tweets to highlight areas of disagreement with some content presented in the budget.
He shot down attributions made by the Caretaker Finance Minister, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu that the economic constraint the nation is not anywhere associated with the COVID-19 pandemic but as a result of mismanagement.
"The problems we face today are due to mismanagement! Here is why: a) Debt was rising before COVID, b)The fiscal path deteriorated before COVID, c) Economic growth slowed before COVID, d) Reckless expenditure and corruption became the norm pre- COVID but got worse during COVID!"
Dr. Ato Forson added that there has not been any significant investment in areas such as the transport and agriculture sector to ensure a sustainable and inclusive growth.
"No serious investment in the key sectors of the economy including energy, Transport and Agriculture. This will adversely affect sustainable inclusive growth," he stated.
He stressed that there is a rather unfortunate switch from a production economy to a taxation one, adding that the conditions on the people and businesses could be dire.
"From production to taxation: All the policies of this government’s second term are effectively going to derail the productive sectors of the economy!"
Dr. Ato Forson listed that the introduction of COVID-19 Health Levy, Road Toll increases, Gaming Tax, Sanitation levy, and among others will compound issues in the economy.
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