Former Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has described the 2018 budget statement as ‘Ahokyere’ budget, to wit, a budget of difficulty.
Speaking in an interview with Class 91.3FM minutes after the Finance Minister read the budget on Wednesday, 15 November, Dr Spio-Garbrah said: “This is Ahokyere budget, a budget for difficulty for the Ghanaian people.”
Meanwhile, the minority in parliament has described the budget as a scam.
This is a “419”, “wahala” and “propaganda” budget, Bernice Heloo, MP for Hohoe told Class91.3FM’s Blessed Sogah in an interview in parliament after the minister presented the budget on Wednesday, 15 November.
Among other things, the government is proposing a reduction in electricity cost by 13% and also intends employing 100,000 graduates next year. The government also announced the scrapping of taxes on low earnings and gave private universities and young entrepreneurs some tax breaks.
Ms Heloo, however, said the government made similar promises in the 2017 budget but has not fulfilled them and, thus, wondered how the new promises can be fulfilled.
“A lot of similar promises were made in the 2017 budget; 750,000 youth were promised jobs, you haven’t dealt with the past promises and you are promising 100,000 jobs.
“Trained nurses are home without jobs, teachers are home jobless and you are adding on. This is a propaganda budget,” she insisted.
As far as the government’s free senior high school programme is concerned, Ms Heloo said the quality is compromised, adding that “young girls are sleeping outside at the mercy of the weather” while “parents are renting hostel facilities” for their children at a high cost and “young boys getting into bad company.”
Also speaking to Class91.3FM, minority spokesperson on finance Cassiel Ato Forson said the budget is full of deception, adding that Ghana will end the year with a 73% debt-to-GDP ratio despite the 68% projection of the finance minister.