While the government continues to fashion out measures in addressing the challenges which includes skyrocketing prices of goods and services, nearly daily increment in fuel prices and a free fall of the Ghana cedi against major trading currencies such as the dollar, several suggestions have been put forth for the governments consideration in managing the situation.
Reduce the size of your government – Prof. Adei to Akufo-Addo
Former Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Professor Stephen Adei, speaking at a recent event, called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to consider causing a reduction in the size of his government.
According to Professor Adei, despite the measure not being sufficient to salvage the current situation, it will come off as a show of leadership on the part of government.
“Two weeks ago, I said that the Executive, Parliament should cut their emoluments by 25 per cent. Let us get it right, even if they do, it is a small amount, it is not going to save us from this situation but it is a leadership example.
“You are sending the message to the people that we are in difficulty; people are suffering and we want to suffer with you. So that hopefully, in a year or a year and a half, we will all come out.
“So don’t let anybody think that when they cut these salaries then the problem is solved altogether because we are talking about half a billion when we need billions,” Prof Adei stated during a special convocation, at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
Prof. Adei further entreated government to reduce its expenditure saying “I expect [the President] to find ways of cutting expenditure, increase revenue, cut off the size in the government…”
Government must cut down frivolous expenditure – Akatsi North MP
Government has so far hinted of plans to cut salaries for members of the Executive arm of the state mitigate the current economic challenges.
In the same vein, it has been suggested that members of the Legislature should also consider a pay cut.
This however has been shot down by the Minority side of Parliament, he believes expenditure on private jets for the president, excess expenditure at the ministries among others must be relooked at.
Minority Member of Parliament for Akatsi North, Peter Kwasi Notsu-Kotoe in a recent interview with TV3 listed reasons why his side will oppose a legislative pay cut.
“We as members of parliament fuel our own cars unlike those in the executive. We pay our drivers unlike those in the executive, we do a number of things. Even the periodic maintenance of our vehicles we do it ourselves.
He noted that while members of the executive enjoy several perks by serving on various boards, MPs are limited to their salaries in managing the various responsibilities they have.
He however suggested ways the government can grow its revenue including cutting down on some expenditures he described as frivolous.
“Government must first of all make sure that they cut down on the frivolous expenditures. Some expenditures that the government is engaging in are not necessary; hiring of jets or airplanes for the president to travel from one place to another is not necessary. They should cut down on the motorcade the president and other appointees are using. so, if they do that and cut down the expenditures at the ministries, they would be able to save money more than what they can save from members of parliament or ministers or members of council of state. They frivolous expenditure must stop, that is the first step they should adopt to solve the problem,” he stated.
Invest in capital expenditure – Prof. Lord Mensah
One of the key areas identified as contributory in the current economic challenges is the strength of the local cedi against the foreign market dominating dollar.
For Associate Professor at the University of Ghana Business School, Professor Lord Mensah, governments decision to pump more dollars into the economy is an unsustainable venture which will not yield the needed result in the long run.
“Pumping in the dollar is only going to stabilize it for a while. That is not the permanent solution,” he stated.
“In what could be more permanent in managing the current situation, Prof. Lord told TV3 that, “let’s also look at the kind of investment we do, capital investment in this country. I always reflect on this and say if government should be bold enough to invest heavily on our roads, construct roads, it will go a long way to save our cedi. The kind of investment again is health infrastructure. Another pressing one which this time is taking a toll on us, which has taken the cedi from the anticipated depreciation is the government’s demand for the dollar,” he stated.
Describing government’s expenditure as overly optimistic, Prof Lord Mensah also argued for a cut in the state’s expenditure, indicating that it will most likely not cause any disruption.
Revise the budget – Joe Jackson
The Council of State, in response to the recent economic challenges, has announced a 20% cut in the allowances of its membership.
According to the Director of Business Operations at DALEX Finance, Mr Joe Jackson, the symbolism the decision is one that cannot be exaggerated.
He however emphasized that government needs to replicate the decision of the Council of State and as well review some of its major policies draining the public purse.
Mr Jackson went further to demand a revision of the current national budget to resonate with the economic exigencies of the period.
“We have to see a revised budget; we definitely have to see a revised budget. We have to see a budget that is in concert with the thinking of this march, in concert with the pain that we are taking in this march, in concert with the direction which has been taken by the council of state. Otherwise, there is no way we can know he its going. It can’t be done in secret. So I am expecting that sooner or later we will see a revised budget,” the financial expert said.
Again, he called on government to revise some of its policies by making specific mention to the Free Senior High School.
Describing the policy as expensive, Mr Jackson impressed on government to take a second look at the policy touted as one of the biggest achievements of the current government.
“A review of Free SHS; that’s the single policy that is so expensive and we believe it should be reviewed,” he said.
“Cut your coat according to your size” – Agbodza to government
Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee, Kwame Agbodza has described calls for a cut in the salaries of MPs as a deceptive act on the part of parliament.
As argued by other members of the minority side of parliament, Mr Abgodza in a Joy News interview said a cut in salaries for MPs will be at the detriment of members in the opposition while MPs in government may not necessarily be affected.
He thus called on government to live within its means by stating that “for government to cut its coat according to its size, the huge expenses we do at the seat of government, we can surely reduce some and do some efficiency savings and some of the things we do.”
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