The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi has cast doubts on the sincerity in the decision by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to cut salaries of government appointees by up to 30 per cent.
Sammy Gyamfi stated that the President may end up announcing expenditure cuts but he will, in reality, be making allocation cuts.
“Now we have lost access to the capital market, we cannot go to the capital market to issue Eurobonds, people are running away from our bonds because we have been downgraded by Fitch and Moodys’ to B- and Caa1, nobody has confidence in our economy. We are at high risk of defaulting and so where are you going to get the money from?
“At the end of the day, they may end up announcing expenditure cuts but what they will be in reality and in truth will be allocation cuts because you are not getting the money in the first place so what are you cutting?
“So you will be cutting allocations on paper not the expenditure . Expenditure at the end of of the 2022 fiscal year is even likely to to be ore than the 137 billion they have projected,” he told TV3’s Roland Walker in an interview.
A former Rector at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Professor Stephen Adei has told Ghanaians not to expect that the pay cut by the President and the Council of State will solve the current problems facing the country.
In his view, the gesture only shows that the leaders are leading by example and recognizing that the country is going through challenges.
To be able to raise the needed revenue to solve the problem, he said Ghanaians must accept to pay the E-levy.
Prof Adei further asked the President to also reduce the size of his government as a way of saving money.
He told journalists on the sidelines of a special convocation to confer honorary doctorate degrees on four eminent Ghanaians at GIMPA on Wednesday March 23 that “Two weeks ago, I said that the executive, parliament should cut their emoluments by 25 per cent. Let us get it right, even if they do , it is a small amount, it is not going to save us from this situation but it is a leadership example. You are sending the message to the people that we are in difficulty, people are suffering and we want to suffer with you. So that hopefully, in a year or a year and a half, we will all come out
“So don’t let anybody think that when they cut these salaries then the problem is solved all together because we are talking about half a billion when we need billions.”
The former Board Chair of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) further said “I expect [the President] to find ways of cutting expenditure, increase revenue, cutting off the size in the government,
“I think that even though all of you don’t like it, I think that we should go for the E-levy, it is a tax which we need now to save Ghana from its current situation. The reason is that there are very limited avenue in the short-term to raise revenue. If you and I don’t support the government at this stage we will pay it through the other way – falling Cedi, rising inflation. So people don’t realize when they say they wont pay the E-levy, you will end up paying,” he said.
This is one of the measures introduced by the government to deal with the economic problems facing the country at the moment, the Presidency said.
The President assured the nation that the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta will be announcing the measures that have been taken by the government to tackle the economic challenges facing the country at the moment.
Mr Akufo-Addo said this during a meeting with Council of State members at the Jubilee House in Accra on Tuesday March 22.
He said “The Minister for Finance is going to have major engagement with the nation on Thursday where he is going to be in the position to lay out specifically the measures that we have taken or we intend to take to correct or put the ship of sail better.”
Mr Akufo-Addo further observed that the challenges that are facing Ghana are similar to those pertaining in many countries around the world.
He noted that it is no secret that Ghana is going through economic turbulence.
He said the government has the ability of finding solutions to the challenges.
“It is no secret that our economy is going through difficult times. It is also no secret that we are not alone in that exercise. The many of the phenomena that we are facing are phenomena that are apparent in many other parts of the world but that doesn’t therefore mean that government is impotent in trying to find solutions,” the President said.
Members of the Council of State have also decided to reduce their monthly allowances by 20 per cent until the end of the year.
This decision was taken due the economic difficulties that the country is facing at the moment, Chairman of the Council, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, said.
Speaking during a meeting with the President at the Jubilee House in Accra on Tuesday March 22, Nana Otuo Siriboe II said “Mr President, over the past few weeks, the Council has been deliberating on the current economic conditions of the country and have been collecting views with the view to sharing with you as early as possible.
“As we were going through our routines, you and your cabinet were at a retreat over the same issues. Since yesterday, we have been fed with snippet of information regarding some of the decisions that you have made.
“We are particularly delighted to read that you and your cabinet have decided to reduce some of your emoluments and your allowances. Mr President, in tandem with your decision we as Council of State had also decided that we will reduce our monthly allowances by 20 per cent until the end of this year.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana