Prepare to pay more – Kwakye Ofosu to Ghanaians on budget approval

A former Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has asked Ghanaians to prepare for extreme hardships following the approval of the 2022 budget by Parliament without the Minority.

In a Facebook post reacting to the approval of the budget, he said “If you are a Ghanaian, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government, with the help of their MPs, has given you the biggest middle finger ever.

“Despite your protestations, they have rammed down your throat, a 1.75% E-Levy, a 25-30% increase in the prices of imported items because of the reversal of the Benchmark Value discount and a 15% increase in over 20,000 different fees and charges paid for the service of 129 MDAs to be adjusted upwards every year.

“All of this start in January which traditionally is the most difficult month. You can also look forward to more fuel price increases. And all of this adds onto the dozens of taxes they have already imposed on you since 2017 and the over 50 different instances of fuel price increases. This is what their misguided supporters are celebrating their MPs for doing this afternoon.”

Issues were raised against aspects of the budget by the Minority and some Ghanaians. For instance, the E-levy proposal met opposition from a number Ghanaians.

But Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has assured that the concerns of the Minority would be addressed by the committees of Parliament.

His comments came just before Parliament approved the 2022budget statement on Tuesday November 30.

But the Minority in Parliament have rejected his assurance.

Their Leader Haruna Iddrisu said at a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that they wanted their concerns captured in the original budget statement, not to be discussed at the committees’ sittings.

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“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement” and not a meeting at the committee level.

He further stated that the Minority will oppose to the E-levy proposal in its current any day and anytime.

“We don’t support the E-levy in its current. Our point is to revise it to take care of the ordinary people.”

The First Deputy Speaker who sat in for the Speaker said on Tuesday, Joseph Osei Owusu said that “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021.”

“This house has approved the budget and economic statement,” he stressed.

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

The minority boycotted the sitting.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana