A member of the National People’s Party (NPP) has called for the suspension of the Free SHS policy and other social intervention programs

Kennedy Nyarko Osei, the Member of Parliament for Akim Swedru, has proposed that the government stop its hallmark Free SHS initiative.

Other social intervention measures, he suggested, should be halted as well, including school meals, Planting for Food and Jobs, and the Nation Builders Corps programs, as well as the payment of teacher and nursing trainee allowances.

These measures were proposed by the MP in response to growing public anxiety about the looming economic issues.

The Chairperson of the Roads and Transportation Committee, in a Facebook post on Thursday, said that government might redirect funds to other productive areas to help the economy recover.

“Since the majority of Ghanaians do not appreciate the above initiatives and complain about hardships, it would be prudent for government to invest such funds in other productive areas of the economy,” the legislator stated.

He indicated that if the government suspends the aforementioned social intervention programs, it might reclaim around ¢5 billion to ¢6 billion.

According to him, the government might then invest this money for the following three years in young employment and the manufacturing business.

Prof Stephen Adei, an economist and the Chairman of the National Development Planning Committee, had previously suggested that the Free SHS policy be revisited to allow parents who can afford to pay for their children’s education to do so.

Kenedy Osei Nyarko
Kenedy Osei Nyarko

He also advocated for a reduction in the country’s spending.

” If your income is greater than your expenses, you must accept the easy alternative of living below your expenses.; otherwise, if you earn ¢3,000 but have a ¢10,000 debt, you cannot spend ¢3,000 on a daily basis.”

To get out of the hole, you’ll have to cut your expenditure to 2,000 because you have debt to service. As a country, we’re in that scenario,” he explained.

Prof Adei, speaking on Upfront on Wednesday, stated that, while cutting spending may be tough for the government, especially as the election season approaches, it is the correct thing to do.

“… And they [the government] must thank God that this crisis has arrived now rather than in 2023, because if they don’t go for the hard one now, which normally takes about 18 months to overcome this type of hunch, they will have a good chance by the middle of 2023 to see some positive results in 2024.”

If they don’t, things will become worse, and if they don’t want to be kicked out of government, they will be kicked out anyhow,” he warned.

Meanwhile, the administration is set to call a special cabinet meeting to identify solutions to the country’s looming economic problems.

The summit will take place at the Peduase Lodge from March 17 to 20, 2022.

President Akufo-Addo will preside over the meeting, which will include all NPP MPs, ministers, government appointees, and the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) leadership.

The meeting will discuss whether the government should proceed with the E-levy Bill or request aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in view of the present budgetary constraints, according to JoyNews sources.

A source confirmed the retreat on Joy FM’s Midday News on Thursday, adding that the gathering will also examine other vital issues concerning the country’s progress.

 

 

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