A former Finance Minister says the country needs to lower the current political temperature and create an environment where sensible debates can be had.
Prof Kwesi Botchwey said when the lines are so thin in Parliament, government communicators ought to shun the arrogant posture and admit to their weaknesses when it’s glaring that things are not clicking for government.
He said government deliberately suppressing and silencing critical voices that are capable of contributing to the discourse on Ghana’s socio-economic growth will continue to hurt the country and deepen its woes further.
According to him, the voices of experts have been tagged so that such people are unable to participate in the country’s economic governance.
Speaking to JoyNews on the sidelines of the launch of the University of Cape Coast School of Economics Development Fund, Prof Botchwey said he would have handled matters differently if he were in charge of the country’s finances and not foisting policies like e-levy on the masses who are already suffering.
“You don’t say, ‘We are in power; we will do it whether you like it or not. So it is time to show humility, shun the arrogance because the numbers don’t show that we are doing great,” he stated.
He maintains that there’s absolutely no point juggling with figures, reclassifying numbers below and above the line to create the erroneous impression that things are well.
On the e-levy, he said, “No responsible person can suggest that the government shouldn’t have any taxes, but I believe the groundswell of anxiety is a sign that the country is in some difficulty and the government should have listened to the people.”
The former finance minister further suggested that instead of government imposing more taxes on the people, it’s more important to plug the loopholes in implementing the existing regulations and taxes.
He indicated the Auditor-General has spoken about the colossal losses the country keeps recording, and it would be very significant for the people to learn that efforts are being made to deal with government expenditures.
“This is to assure people that the government is sensitive. Let’s not zero in on the e-levy alone. The most important thing happening in the country right now is that the public debt is unsustainable. We need to restore our credibility in the market to access it when we need to, “he averred.
But Prof. Botchwey stated that unless the arrogance and the pretence that only a group of people can resolve everything are discarded, the country will go nowhere.
“I think it’s not good for the country that everything should be seen in party political colours. I think there’s a good deal to be said about lowering the temperature in the country. There should be a show of some humility. ”
He further said it’s aggravating when people are constantly faced with some arrogant dismissal of everything being said, depending upon who is saying it. According to him, such a posture doesn’t make any sense and should be discarded.
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