The Minority in Parliament has slammed the 2023 budget presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in Accra yesterday.
According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers, the budget was empty and it offers no hope for the youth of the country.
The Minority spokesperson on Finance, Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, said the budget provided no hope for the youth in particular because there would be a freeze on employment.
Beyond that, he said, the reduction of the controversial e-Levy headline rate from 1.5 per cent to one per cent of the transaction value, as well as the removal of the daily threshold meant that the exceptions that citizens used to get would be taken away.
“This means that Ghanaians would start paying taxes on the little money they send, including even GH¢10,” he said.
“The budget provides no hope for the youth, traders and everybody because taxes will go up,” Dr Forson said.
He said for the minister to admit that there would be some form of debt restructuring following the negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was not honest with Ghanaians when he said “there will be no haircut.”
“The only debt that will not be part of the restructuring will be Treasury Bills. This means that all external debts, including Euro bonds, will get a haircut,” he added.
According to him, the budget would present severe and extreme austerity in 2023.
The Spokesperson said the budget was mere grammar because it failed to attach appendixes where the actual numbers could be found for critical analysis.
“Indeed, the Ghanaian economy is in an intensive care and the kind of dozes presented will only lead to our death,” he added.
They contended that the budget provided nothing but unbearable hardship to the citizens.