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Minority calls for withdrawal of 2018 budget

Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority spokesperson on Finance

The Minority spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson has called for the withdrawal of the 2018 budget which was read before the house by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta last Wednesday.

According to him, the government had reviewed some key economic targets without recourse to the House.

Mr. Ato Forson made the call in a submission on the floor of Parliament today [Tuesday], at the commencement of the debate on the budget.

According to him, “The Minister responsible for Finance cannot revise the expenditures and revenue without parliamentary resolution.”

He also said the government’s budgetary allocation for the Nation Builders’ Corps was “nothing to write home about.”

He noted that the Minority’s calculations indicated that each of the 100,000 youth to be recruited under the program would receive a little over GH¢400, which is woefully inadequate.

“Mr. Speaker the said graduates will not take home more than GHC400, this is dangerous. Mr. Speaker that GHC600,000 they intend to fund the programme with is not coming from the government of Ghana. It is going to be taken from the district assembly common fund. You’re going to constrain the district assemblies just for the purpose of funding it. This, in my opinion, is an extension of the national service scheme,” he said.

About the 2018 budget

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, presented the Akufo-Addo government’s 2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament.

The budget highlighted results from the government’s policy programmes over the past few months,  and announced the government’s planned developmental programs for the next fiscal year.

Among the major programs to be rolled out by the government in 2018, are tax relief for private universities, tax holiday for young entrepreneurs, proposed 13% reduction in electricity tariff for residential consumers, the establishment of nation-building corps and operationalization of the special prosecutors’ office.

The budget, dubbed the ‘Adwuma Budget’  focuses mainly on revenue mobilization through strict tax collection modules and job creation.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana