The leader of the Minority Caucus in Parliament says that the initiatives outlined by the government to save the country’s economy are insufficient.
The Minority in Parliament has criticised the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, for his speech on the steps that the government proposes to take to tackle the economic challenges confronting Ghana.
The Minority said the measures are inadequate, given the gravity of the situation in which the country finds itself.
Addressing the press on Thursday (24 March 2022) immediately after Ofori-Atta’s briefing, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, disputed comments that recent global events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine have contributed to Ghana’s economic woes.
The Minority Leader also reiterated his party’s resolve to vote against the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) Bill.
“Our [the Minority’s] immediate response to the Honourable Minister for Finance is to state emphatically and unequivocally that he has lost touch with reality. He is not in tune with the state of the Ghanaian economy.
“Our economy today is one that reflects nothing less than a cost-of-living crisis and a cost-of-doing- business crisis, both for citizens and for businesses [which] are unable to cope with the measures so announced by the Minister for Finance.
“… we do not find his proposed measures adequate enough; we need certainty and clarity. We have an expenditure approval of GHC145 billion. We expect that you tell us that, ‘I want to cut GHC45 billion out of the GHC145 billion,’ then we know that this is your commitment.
“Twenty per cent of this, 10% of that – we are still not certain how much [of an] expenditure cut he intends to undertake,” Iddrisu said.
GHC3.5 billion savings forecast from 30% salary cut
Ofori-Atta says the government will save roughly GHC3.5 billion from the 30% salary cut among ministers and heads of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
Addressing the country on measures being taken to curb challenges to the economy, Ofori-Atta said, “With regard to savings, in terms of our initial calculations of all of that [the salary cut] will be about GHC3.5 billion that we expect to be able to save.
“But we’ll keep titrating and tightening it to ensure that we get as much [as we can] from that,” the minister said.
Cabinet earlier approved a voluntary contribution to the Consolidated Fund of 30% of the salary to be earned by ministers and heads of SOEs between April and December 2022.
Members of the Council of State have also agreed to a 20% cut in their monthly allowance for the next year to support efforts aimed at stabilising the economy.
Members of the Council of State say the cut is their widow’s mite towards the government’s overall effort to revive the economy and enable recovery.