Banking consultant Dr Richmond Atuahene has asserted that the measures proposed to cut down government’s expenditure will be difficult to monitor.
According to him, although the cut-down policies stated by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta sounded good, there was no assurance that they would be effective.
He stressed that President Akufo-Addo’s failure to reduce the size of his government makes Ghanaians skeptical about his commitment to enforce these policies.
“While we, the poor and pensioned are supposed to tighten our belt, they [government] should tighten their belt better. Other than that, the V8 monitoring and all these things is not going to be effective… but as it is now, I listened to the various measures he [the Finance Minister] put in place; it looks good, but even the monitoring will be very tough for them.”
Speaking on Joy News’ AM Show, Dr Atuahene commended some of the cost-cutting measures proposed in the 2023 budget.
However, he said the measures could go further than what government addressed in the budget and added that should government demonstrate that they are cutting down on their expenses, it would be easier for them to gain the trust of the populace.
The move, he noted, would encourage Ghanaians to cut their expenses in order for the cost-cutting measures to be effective.
“The austerity budget is about cost-cutting and effective expenditure control. Once you do that, Ghanaians will see that they will have to tighten their belts as well.
“When we do that, maybe in two or three years to come, it will be well with us,” he noted.
Mr Ofori-Atta, while presenting the 2023 budget on Thursday, November 24, highlighted some proposed expenditure cuts of government appointees amidst the current economic crisis.
Some of the actions proposed in the budget were:
- A freeze on recruitment in the civil and public service,
- Halting the establishment of new government agencies in 2023
- Suspension of non-critical projects for the 2023 financial year.
- Limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles,
- A ban on the use of V8s/V6s in Accra except for cross-country travel,
- A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for the Free Zones, mining, oil and gas companies;
- No hampers for 2022 Christmas
- No printing of diaries, notepads, calendars and other promotional merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs and SOEs for 2024
Ghanaians have expressed mixed reactions on the matter.
But Dr Atuahene is of the view that the populace will be skeptical about its implementation due to government’s indifference to calls for a reduction in government size.
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