General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia has taken on Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, accusing him of presenting a budget that showed no signs of easing hardships on Ghanaians.
Ofori-Atta presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. Two major issues that have dominated the post-delivery discussions are the scrapping of road tolls nationwide and the introduction of taxes on electronic transactions.
In an interview with journalists in parliament after the presentation, Asiedu Nketia held that the 2022 budget did little to tell citizens what the government was doing by way of alleviating challenges.
“As I listened to the Minister, it was like he was living in past glories. He kept on talking about successes they achieved in 2017, 2018 and so on.
“I thought that this budget was about reviewing your performance in 2020 and then based on that you give us projections. You are not telling us how you are going to tighten your own belt, because the biggest problem we have is overheads in this country,” he said.
He posits that government should have considered among other measures, the cutting of overhead expenditures as a way of meeting the people halfway.
“The cost of administering the country has increased so tremendously under this government. You have government hiring jets and all those, and in calling people to embrace austerity, you should be demonstrating to people is that we are cutting foreign travels, we are reducing ministers, we are cutting a number of appointees and saving money.”
The NDC’s ranking member on Finance Committee, Cassel Ato-Forson has meanwhile sent a strong signal that the Minority Caucus will stiffly oppose the electronic tax because of the negative impact it will have on lives and businesses.