Some minority members of Parliament have conveyed doubt in the ability of the 2018 budget to sustain the economy, describing it as an 'ahokyer3' budget.
The MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini described the budget which is to be presented Wednesday as an ahokyer3 budget, denoting suffering or hardships.
“This budget will be an ahokyerɛ budget. Revenue targets have not been met, commitments to promises have not been delivered, money is not available, there is deep doubt that employment can be created because employment creation is production-driven. Industries must produce and production is demand-driven. And for people to have demand for goods and services, people must have income,” he explained.
The NDC MP also disputed government's assertion that the budget will focus more on job creation, arguing that government has failed to meet their revenue targets thus the reading of the budget and its projections will not amount to anything.
“The economy is not expanding because there’s no money. Because there’s no money, industries can’t produce a stockpile and because of that they retrench workers to be able to stay afloat or they won’t employ at all. Because there’s no employment, the teeming masses will go to the public service for jobs. The government won’t spend because they aren’t getting the revenue. In the first three quarters, the government is under-performing in terms of revenue mobilization. There’s no money to spend so how will it provide the impetus for the economy to grow and expand and create the necessary conditions for employment?”, he said.
MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa likewise emphasized government's failure to fulfill promises made in the 2017 budget.
He stated, “My expectations for the budget is really how the government plans to address a number of pledges made in the 2017 budget which have not been fulfilled. The one million dollar per constituency disbursement did not take place. The 2018 budget would have to address it because they pledged in their manifesto that every year constituencies would get one million dollars so that means they’ll have to raise 2 million in 2018 because last year is in arrears.”
Again, Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini shared similar concerns about his doubts that the upcoming budget will enhance economic growth in the country.
“It’s important that we recollect what was promised and ask ourselves if, beyond the media blitz that greeted the 2017 presentation, there is something on the ground that justifies what we saw. It’s important that we talk to the people at the ports and at Abossey Okai who jubilated earlier, as we await the 2018 budget. I am convinced that they will have no other verdict than what the Minority predicted at the time that this was a budget with very little by way of transforming the economy and creating jobs,” Alhassan Suhuyini said.
The Finance Minister is expected to present the 2018 budget, which is the second in the Akufo- Addo administration, to Parliament today.
The budget is expected to address and find solutions to major areas such as revenue collection, job creation, infrastructure, agriculture, debt management, corruption, economic stability, public sector reforms, education, entrepreneurship among others.
Read also: 2018 Budget to be presented today
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