Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has urged the Government to accept full responsibility of taking Ghana to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for bail out.
Speaking at a press briefing at Parliament House in Accra, Mr Iddrisu said the hard life and economic conditions prevailing in Ghana, which had led to the Government taking the country to the IMF for bail out was self-inflicted.
The Minority Leader said understandably on the July 1, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Chairman of the Economic Management Team, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia had to beat a retreat in formally announcing to the Ghanaians the desire, intention, and decision of his government to engage the IMF to bail out Ghana from its economic challenges and economic difficulties.
“The essence of this press conference is to state unequivocally that, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia should take full responsibility for incompetently managing the economic to suffocating debt level, which has necessitated the retreat for us to request an agreement with the IMF for the restructuring of debts,” he said.
He said the Government must take full responsibility for the economic hardship facing Ghanaians and focus on expenditure reduction, particularly focusing on social interventions while they reduce their opulence expenditure.
Mr Iddrisu said what was of greater concern to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament was that the Government rejected every reasonable and constructive suggestions from them and from other respected economists and Ghanaians on working together to improve the economy of the country.
“What they (the Government) must learn to live with is that, once the Ghanaian people voted for a hung Parliament, it meant that the day of imposition is over,” Mr Iddrisu said.
Touching on E-Levy, Mr Iddrisu said E-Levy remains an unpopular tax instrument, and therefore, the fact that it was passed does not mean it had the support of the Minority.
“We rejected it because it was unpopular, we rejected it because it marks double taxation. Indeed, in many jurisdictions, it would not stand constitutional acceptability,” the Minority Leader said.
“I cannot see why I take my income, pay income tax on it and in sending thousand Ghana Cedis of it to my mother on electronic platform, I still have to pay tax on it.”
He said that the Minority’s position on the E-Levy had not changed.
Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, Ranking for Finance Committee/Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam, said said the Ukraine-Russia War could not be blamed for the economic hardship facing Ghanaians.
He said this IMF Programme would differ from all the IMF Programmes the country had ever seen in the past, stating that, “in fact, this would be the first time we would do an IMF Programme with debts restructuring, that means a lot. That could mean that Ghana is going to go through another phase of HIPC (heavily indebted poor countries), HIPC to the extent that we are going to look at our debts and restructure it.”
He urged the Government to come clean and tell Ghanaians what they should expect, and to stop blaming the Ukraine-Russia war for the economic hardship in the country.