Mr Edgar Wiredu, an insurance marketer and social commentator, has stated that the new measures announced by Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta to address the country’s economic challenges are only meant to help the government meet the 7.4% deficit target set in the 2022 budget, not necessarily to alleviate the suffering of Ghanaians.
Mr. Ofori-Atta announced on Thursday, March 24, that the government has put a complete halt to the purchase of imported automobiles for the rest of the year, effective immediately.
He claims that this will have an impact on all new orders, particularly 4-wheel drives.
“The government has put a blanket ban on the acquisition of imported vehicles for the rest of the year.” This will affect all new orders, notably those for four-wheel drives. “Over the long term, we will ensure that the net result is a decrease of at least 50% in total vehicle purchases by the public sector,” he said.
“With immediate effect, the government has imposed an embargo on all overseas travel, with the exception of pre-approved critical/statutory travel; the government will have finished ongoing measures to eradicate “ghost” workers from the government payroll by the end of December 2022;
“Discretionary spending will be lowered by another 10%.” The Ministry of Finance is currently meeting with MDAs to review their spending plans for the remaining three (3) quarters in order to achieve the discretionary expenditure cuts; ii. Energy resources must be used efficiently in these times.
“In line with this, from April 1, 2022, all political appointees and heads of government institutions, including SOEs, would receive a 50% reduction in gasoline coupon allocations,” he added.
“We will pursue comprehensive re-profiling strategies to reduce the fiscal burden of interest expense, and we will collaborate with the Organised Labour and Employers Association to put in place the measures outlined in the Kwahu Declaration of the 2022 National Labour Conference with immediate effect,” says the president.
“Conference, including revisions to address compensation inequities/inequalities (e.g., Article 71 Office Holders), the poor link between pay and productivity, and the payroll’s long-term viability.”
“Let me state unequivocally that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has no intention of reversing a significant policy like Free SHS. We believe that education is the most effective tool for achieving long-term economic growth and change, and we will work to strengthen it so that it can serve more and better our children. Mr Ofori Atta went on to say, “All of these steps are geared at ensuring that we meet the 7.4% deficit objective set in the 2022 budget.”
However, Mr Edgar Wiredu, who was not thrilled with the measures, remarked on TV3’s Key Points on Saturday March 26, “These measures are only to enable the government to attain the 7.4% deficit, not to cushion Ghanaians.”
He went on to say that a developing economy such as Ghana’s should not rely on taxes to flourish.
“You don’t rely on taxes to develop in a developing country,” he told host Dzifa Bampoh.