The Minority Caucus in Parliament has described the 2023 budget statement presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday, November 24 as blank.
Among the major factors to revive Ghana’s economic hardship, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta hinted that there will be a freeze on employment of public sector workers and an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) by 2.5%.
But the minority who were not satisfied with the Minister’s statement said it amounted to emptiness and would rather worsen the economic condition facing Ghanaians.
“What he gave to us was nothing but grammar. He has informed us clearly that the Ghanaian economy is indeed in an Intensive Care Unit. This Minister has informed us that going forward to the year 2023, there is going to be a freeze on employment at a time when we know that unemployment particularly with the youth is in excess of 50 per cent.
“It looks as if this government doesn’t seem to be aware that this Ghanaian economy has introduced unbearable hardship to the citizens of this country. Unfortunately, the adjustments the Minister has announced did not show us how they intend to cut government expenditure.
“The things he announced are nothing but empty and did not indicate where proper expenditure cuts will come from,” a Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson told the press.
In Mr. Ato Forson’s view, the 2023 budget has failed to offer hope to Ghanaians –hence, he encouraged everyone to watch out for any extra hardship to be faced in 2023.
Meanwhile, in the Minster’s seven-point agenda to revive the economy during his presentation, there was 2.5 per cent increment in VAT and the reduction of the 1.5 per cent Electronic Transfer Levy rate to 1 per cent.
Mr. Ofori-Atta further stressed that the increment of the VAT is expected to yield GH¢2.70 billion of which Akufo-Addo’s administration will use to augment funding for road infrastructure development.