Ranking Member on the Trade and Industry Committee in Parliament, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah has said that the Minority will oppose the 2022 budget should it seek to worsen the plight of Ghanaians.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Tuesday, the former Energy Minister stated that citizens have faced economic hardship this year due to the consistent hike in the price of fuel, which has affected cost of doing business and the prices of foodstuff.
“This year, just look at fuel prices alone and the number of taxes. Look at the impact it is having on businesses and food prices. Look at the performance of the Ghana cedis and how it has created uncertainties for businesses.
“We are not creating jobs. This a government that promised that they are going to move this economy from taxation to production. What has happened? We have borrowed all the way to the moon. From 120 in 2016 when we left to 383billion today – moved debt-to-GDP ratio from 56 per cent to 80 per cent. Unsustainable records, that is where we are.
“It is true when we say that the Minority in Parliament will not support any measure that will deepen the suffering of the people of Ghana. That is the point,” he told Evans Mensah.
According to Mr. Buah, these indicators should inform government to introduce initiatives that would cushion Ghanaians in the coming year.
Per his comments, what the 2022 budget to be presented to Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta should seek to do, is provide hope for businesses and Ghanaians.
“There is a high cost of living making everybody struggle. The suffering is real and I think it is very clear that the expectation for this budget is that we expect measures that will give relief to the struggling people of Ghana. This budget must give hope to businesses that are collapsing.”
He also added that “this government now has the responsibility to really get the people of Ghana to breathe again. We expect to see this economy working, see businesses have a sense of growth. This budget must address the issue of unemployment and cost of doing business in Ghana.”
Mr. Buah, also the Member of Parliament for Ellembelle, noted that government has what it takes to ensure it lessens the burden of Ghanaians.
He said the country has chalked great feat with the production of oil, hence the profits must be employed to cater for struggling businesses. For him, such an initiative would prove government’s touted caring nature.
“This government has been the luckiest when it comes to revenue. Ghana is a net exporter of oil. We projected 54 dollars a barrel and luckily for us, price for crude oil has risen to over 80 dollars. We projected 800 million dollars but is now 1.2billion dollars. What we are saying is this government must be a little caring. Use that to cushion Ghanaians in terms of prices for crude oil.”
His statements come ahead of the 2022 budget reading. JoyNews sources close to the Finance Ministry have indicated that Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta will, on Wednesday be in Parliament to request that the House approves a budget estimate of ¢120 billion for government spending in the 2022 fiscal year.