2015 Budget will consign Ghanaians to hopelessness — CPP
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has said the 2015 Budget will consign Ghanaians to hopelessness and, therefore, demanded a paradigm shift in the economic policy direction of the country.
In the view of the CPP, the budget is neither creative nor innovative but a recycling of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictated policy of stabilisation and tight fiscal and monetary policy that the country had pursued since 1983 but is still rooted in want and poverty.
Sharing the party’s view points on the 2015 Budget, the National Chairman of the CPP, Ms Samia Yaaba Nkrumah, told the Daily Graphic that running to the IMF or the Bretton Woods institution at the least economic difficulties was a very lazy approach to solving the country’s economic difficulties.
According to the CPP, going to the IMF was not the panacea to solving the country’s economic difficulties and mentioned the underlying causes of the persistent inflation and the budget deficits of the national economy, which were under production in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
She said that the economic development policy of the stabilisation outlined in the 2015 Budget would neither satisfy nor meet the development and prosperity aspirations of Ghanaians.
On the contrary, Ms Nkrumah stressed that the strategy of the government to balance its budget and reduce inflation through a reduction in government expenditure, removal of social support subsidies, increased taxation, apart from being a wrong diagnosis of the problems and difficulties of the economy, would impose needless hardship on the people, particularly the poor and the vulnerable in the society.
“In effect, our people will make sacrifices for the same failed policies of deficit reduction towards wrong and unprofitable ends,” she stated.
Ms Nkrumah said that the structure of the Ghanaian economy had its roots in history, and therefore any effort at reform of the economy should be founded on the development history of the country.
She said that the investments of the CPP government of the First Republic, such as the Tarkwa Gold Refinery, the Tema Food Complex and storage silos, were all aimed at the reform of the structure of the economy.
“It is a sad commentary on our development history that these investments were divested by the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party governments without ensuring that the objectives of the investment were achieved,” she stated.
In the view of the CPP, Ms Nkrumah stated that the appropriate and relevant development policy for the balanced growth of our economy was the ownership and development of the productive resources of the country in a government engagement with the co-operative farmer-based organisations and private sector in agricultural production and manufacturing for export and domestic consumption.
“The issue of national ownership of our productive resources is critical and vital for the delivery of prosperity to our people,” she stated.
She said that under the CPP government of the First Republic, Ghana achieved economic prosperity on account of the fact that “we owned and controlled national productive resources that enabled the government to deliver on social interventions and investments that promoted prosperity.”
She asked, “How do we, for example, explain the fact that the people of Obuasi who own the resources of the richest gold mine in the world live in abject poverty?”
The intervention of the government to promote investments in the development of our productive resources would solve the problem of youth unemployment in the economy, give income to the population to sustain and increase demand in the economy to foster capital formation and eradicate poverty, she stated.
She further said that the increase in export production and the domestic production of import substitutes is also an appropriate policy to increase our export earnings and reduce our import expenditure and the deficit in our external trade account.
“We want Ghanaians to be bold, make that paradigm shift to become real and take control of the economy by changing the political system,” Ms Nkrumah stated.
She said that, “Our economic development managers are too lazy to get to the bottom of the problems confronting the nation; that is why we have jobless growth over the last 30 years.”
“For us in the CPP, we need to change the driver, direction and destination of the bus, if we are to experience meaningful development growth comparable to our peers such as Malaysia and South Korea,” she stated.