The Minority in Parliament on Tuesday hit hard on the Akufo-Addo-led government during the start of the debate of the 2019 budget statement, which was presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, last Thursday.
Amidst a heated debate on the floor on the House, the Majority argued it has since the assumption of office created a robust economy which must be applauded, according to the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah.
But the Minority disagreed strongly, alleging the government only engaged in a borrowing spree which members say was avoidable.
Member of Parliament for Ketu South Fiifi Kwetey claimed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo mismanaged the GETFund and turned around to borrow, something he said makes the government “tragically incompetent”.
“If you have a situation where a whole government will have access to about 1.4,1.5 billion cedis coming into GETFund and that government consumes about 1 billion of that amount and then you leave only about 400 million for infrastructure.
“And you turn around to come and borrow about $500 million, that’s almost 2 billion cedis plus, to do exactly the same thing the 1.4, 1.5 billion was given to you and you call yourself competent people, you are not, you’re tragically incompetent,” the Ketu South MP fumed.
Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency Cassiel Ato Baah Forson also bemoaned the increase in the country’s public debt under the NPP’s 18-month old government, “stating every Ghanaian including newly born babies, by current terms, owes GH¢5,798″.
However, a Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, said the government was under obligation to borrow partly because of the financial sector crises which led to the consolidation of five banks.
According to the Atiwa East MP, the government has not borrowed as much as the Minority makes it seem but “net on net we have actually borrowed about a billion and we can list the number of things we have done with this money”.