Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has stated his readiness to vote against the passing of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented to parliament by the Minister of Finance on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
Ken Ofori Atta presenting the budget on the floor of parliament on Wednesday outlined various policies and measures the government intends to undertake in the coming year relative to revenue mobilization and expenditure.
Tagged by the government as a budget that will steer the country towards economic growth during a post-COVID-19 outbreak, the opposition on the other hand have since its presentation raised various issues concerning the budget.
Speaking on Friday, November 19, 2021, edition of Good Morning Ghana, Mr Ablakwa stated among other things the budget is going to lead to job losses for some 43,000 persons in the health sector alone.
He faulted the budget on principle and on policy measures stating that his constituents will have a reason to take him on if he votes for the passing of the budget.
“The Ministry of Health between 2021 and 2022, more than 23,000 are no longer going to be there as part of this staff rationalization process and its so-called light sizing. All the euphemism to cover up for what is the obvious, thus the intent to do. So Dr, this budget may my constituents never forgive me I vote for this budget based on principle and on policy measures,” he told the host of the morning show, Dr Randy Abbey.
The finance minister for the umpteenth time touted government’s management of the country amidst the COVID-19 stating that no public sector worker was laid off as a result of the pandemic.
But responding to this on Metro TV, Mr Ablakwa said same cannot be said for the coming year as per details contained in the 2022 budget statement.
He referenced paragraph 325 of the budget statement which reads “Mr. Speaker, in addition, a staff rationalisation exercise will be carried out in 2022 and the medium-term to instill efficiency in the allocation of staff to government institutions with the view to right-sizing the public sector workforce. In line with this, there will be a limit on the creation of new institutions with varying conditions of service and attendant costs.
Should the need arise for a new institution to be created, staff shall be sourced from existing staff on government payroll, except under exceptional circumstances where the skill set required cannot be found in the public service. To this end, the Public Services Commission shall be resourced and strengthened to work with the Office of the Head of Civil Service, Office of the Local Government Service, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that government’s objective with respect to this policy is achieved,” to back his position.