The 2024 Budget has failed to address the fundamental issues affecting the Ghanaian Economy in all key sectors, Ranking Member of Roads and Transport Committee, Hon Isaac Adjei Mensah has said.
Hon Adjei Mensah made this disclosure while speaking to EXPRESSNEWSGHANA in Parliament after Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta presented the 2024 Budget statement and economic policy.
He said the failure of the government 2024 budget to tackle cocoa roads, key economic trunk roads and payment to road contractors of work done could spelt doom to the transportation secror.
He added that, the alleged thievery and corruption at the Ministry Roads and Highways is also a challenge in which the Minister owed a duty to Ghanaians to explain.
He believed the government missed the simplest opportunity to rescue the economy by boosting the transportation sector which in view holds the key to the economic growth.
“In every economy, it is the road sector which serve as the driving engine that isgiving attention. Countries develop faster by improving their roads network but our government of the day is paying lip services, Road Contractors have not been paid for years now.”
The Wassa East MP said the abandoned cocoa roads and major roads despite claims of Year of Roads for three consecutive years, the inability to actually make good on anything about our Taxs are all issues that have not been addressed in the budget, arguing that, “the budget is more of the same every year and it will not address the fundamental issues facing the Economy.”
He described the issue of thievery and corruption as alleged by some high-profile personalities and the corresponding debt to servicing around billions of cedis as major setback to the country economy of which the government must be held accountable.
Going further, Mr Adjei Mensah said though the ministry of Finance has insisted that the issue is a Revenue problem, the continued grant of tax exemption to party aparackites and cronies and denying the state of the deserving revenue worth questioning.
The MP blasted the government,especially the Minister for Finance for continue to grant tax exemption to his cronies while taxing the poor Ghanaians.
He said so far, there is nothing to boost of the benefit from the tax waivers and asked the Minister of Finance to desist from granting tax exemption to party faithful and his cronies at the disadvantage of the state.
Furthermore, Mr Adjei Mensah described the government’s 2024 budget as completely empty, saying, “I cannot see anything appealing in the budget as it won’t help alleviate the current burden on Ghanaians.”
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2024 budget in Parliament on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
Among other things, he said Ghana’s economy, which plummeted in recent years, had begun making modest gains.
Mr. Ofori Atta cited, for instance, that the country’s inflation has started declining because the economy is performing better.
But the Minority Spokesperson on Roads and Transport said, “In terms of the contents, I don’t think there is anything to write home about. There is nothing exciting about this budget. It is business as usual, rhetoric, things they will do. If they haven’t been able to do it in the last seven years, I am wondering how they are going to do it in one year, now that things are much harder.”
He further noted, “the so-called removal of tax from one component and increasing the other side, does not reduce poverty, does not reduce hardship. So you can understand why we the Minority don’t think that this government will be retained. So this is their bye-bye budget.”
“ We will scrutinise it and during the debates on the estimates, we will unwrap every figure , whether taxs or subsidy, whatever, we will expose them,” he added.
He urged Ghanaians to start warming up for more economic hardship as things would get worse under the current government.
Again, Mr Adjei Mensah said his constituents have been neglected and that there has not been anything.made mention in the budget for the people of Wassa East.
The MP said , despite the availability of natural resources and other investment projects in the constituency which the country largely benefit from, it has been neglected.
The constituency, he added has the largest oil palm plantation, Rubber factory, and one of the largest forest reserves of the country and should be taken
Generally, the NDC MP believed the 2024 Budget is recycled materials with no substance and with no solutions to Ghana economic problems.
The country and its enviable resources, Mr Adjei Mensah said have been mortgaged by President Akufo-Adoo -Bawumia government and it would only take the NDC to restore the hope in Ghana.