The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has criticised the incumbent government for presenting what he describes as an “absolutely useless” budget for the 2024 financial year.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Monday, Dr Forson noted that the ‘Nkunim’ [Victory] budget fails to address the pressing issues facing Ghanaians presently.
During the presentation of the 2024 Budget statement and economic policy in Parliament on Wednesday, November 15, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta was optimistic that the nation is gradually overcoming its economic challenges.
He said the government has established a robust foundation for the future prosperity of the Ghanaian economy.
However, Dr Forson maintains that the budget is empty and does not provide solutions to the economic crisis the populace is being forced to undergo.
“The 2024 budget is absolutely useless. It solves nothing. It is empty. What are the issues confronting Ghana today? High unemployment, high poverty rate, businesses collapsing, high lending rate, monetary policy hitting the roof, economic growth trying to do under 2 percent, high inflation.
“These are the issues confronting the people of Ghana and the budget must confront these issues,” he told the host, Evans Mensah.
Dr Forson further introduced the concept of “materiality,” emphasising the importance of assessing the strength and significance of the proposed measures in the budget to address specific challenges.
In his view, the budget appeared immaterial, lacking the necessary substance to effectively tackle the burdens faced by the citizens of Ghana.
One major point of contention for Dr Forson was the imposition of new taxes amounting to GH₵11 billion.
Given the current economic circumstances, he questioned the rationale behind burdening individuals and citizens with such a substantial financial demand.
Dr Forson emphasized the importance of a budget that prioritizes the well-being of the people and effectively addresses the critical issues confronting the nation.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during his presentation of the 2024 budget statement in Parliament last week Wednesday announced some measures to cushion Ghanaians.
Some reliefs prioritized by the government include the extension of the zero rates of VAT on locally manufactured African prints, removal of taxes on locally produced sanitary pads and locally assembled vehicles, as well as waivers on import duties for electric vehicles and agricultural machinery.
To address environmental concerns, Mr Ofori-Atta also announced the government’s plan to expand the Environmental Excise Duty to cover plastic packaging, industrial emissions, and vehicle emissions.[embedded content]
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