The National Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi has lashed out on the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) over what he calls “using Covid-19 as an escape route for their ineptness”
Speaking on TV3’s New Day with Johnnie Hughes, he said it is shocking how the governing party finds delight in blaming the outbreak of Covid-19 for the downturn of the local economy.
He stated that “the mismanagement of the country by the Akufo-Addo-led government has brought unbearable hardship which will take a long time to repair and Covid-19 only came at a good time to provide the government with a plausible but a lazy excuse.
“The hardships we are going through currently, is a direct product of the bad policies and the insensitive leadership of President Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia and nothing more.”
Sammy Gyamfi said that the government has overburdened Ghanaians with the introduction of more nuisance taxes.
“I want to put on record that the reason why the prices of fuel have gone up is not because of the fact that the international market price has gone up. It is not because the price of fuel has gone up in the US. The reason is because the insensitive Akufo-Addo government has imposed about three nuisance taxes on the prices of fuel.”
Counting the taxes he referred to as being nuisance, Sammy said “a 10 pesewas sanitation and pollution levy” which he referred to as, “bola tax” is placed on every liter of diesel and petrol bought.”
He also said “they [the government] introduced a 20 pesewas increment on the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) on every liter of diesel and petrol bought and introduced a 1% Covid-19 Levy on the VAT flat rate which is applied on supplies of retailers and wholesalers and another 1% Covid-19 Levy on the NHIL which is also applied on the goods and services.”
Sammy Gyamfi called on the government and its communicators to stop using Covid-19 as an excuse for anything that they cannot do because “even before Covid-19, the economy was deteriorating. What Covid-19 did was to expose and worsen an already bad economy.”
Before Covid-19, in 2019, the fiscal deficit had increased from 6.3% in 2016 to 7.5%, the public debt had moved from 56% to 64.5%, before Covid-19, the manufacturing sector which is critical to the development of an emerging economy like ours had shrunk from 7.9% in 2016 to 6.5% in 2019,” he added.