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Ghana's problems bigger than expenditure cuts in hampers and diaries - Isaac Adongo

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Fri, 25 Nov 2022 Source:

The Member of Parliament of Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo, has stated that Ghana's economic challenges are bigger than cut expenditures on hampers and diaries.

He made the comment after the presentation of the 2023 budget by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on November 24, 2022.

The Finance Minister also announced a number of expenditure-cut measures for the 2023 financial year.

But addressing journalists after the presentation, Adongo said, "For an economy where people are struggling to make ends meet, an economy where people's businesses are collapsing, an economy where families are struggling to keep their families together, you have a government that says I'll still put my hands in your pocket and put twice as much as I took in 2022. Even if your businesses are dying, I'll take 120% more than I did last year."

He added that "Ordinarily, you would expect that the government will reduce expenditures so that the little that it raises, it will be able to manage and get you out of your difficulties but he came to announce cuts in diaries and hampers. Is the problem of our economy about hampers and diaries?"

According to Adongo, instead of the government reducing its expenditure, it has increased its expenditure which will further exacerbate the current economic conditions.

"Yet when you look at the expenditure, the minister is moving from 109 billion this year to 205 billion," he said.

The government introduced 13 expenditure-cut measures as listed below in its 2023 budget statement.

1. All MDAs, MMDAs, and SOEs are directed to reduce fuel allocations to Political Appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs, and SOEs by 50%. This directive applies to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit systems, and fuel depots. Accordingly, 50% of the previous year’s (2022) budget allocation for fuel shall be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs, and SOES;

2. A ban on the use of V8s/V6s or its equivalent except for cross-country travel. All government vehicles would be registered with GV green number plates from January 2023;

3. Limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles. For the avoidance of doubt, the purchase of new vehicles shall be restricted to locally assembled vehicles;

4. Only essential official foreign travel across government including SOEs shall be allowed. No official foreign travel shall be allowed for board members. Accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year 2023, by mid-December for all expected travels to the Chief of Staff;

5. As far as possible, meetings and workshops should be done within the official environment or government facilities;

6. Government-sponsored external training and Staff Development activities at the Office of the President, Ministries, and SOEs must be put on hold for the 2023 financial year;

7. Reduction of expenditure on appointments including salary freezes together with suspension of certain allowances like housing, utilities, and clothing, etc.;

8. A freeze on new tax waivers for foreign companies and review of tax exemptions for the free zone, mining, oil, and gas companies;

9. A hiring freeze for civil and public servants;

10. No new government agencies shall be established in 2023;

11. There shall be no hampers for 2022;

12. There shall be no printing of diaries, notepads, calendars, and other promotional merchandise by MDAs, MMDAs, and SOEs for 2024;

13. All non-critical projects must be suspended for the 2023 Financial year

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