2017 Budget Minority attacks Akufo-Addo's budget, calls it loaded with deception

Addressing a press conference Friday to respond to the president's first budget, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu noted that the budget "stifles exports and stimulates imports."

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Haruna Iddrisu

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The Minority in Parliament has blasted President Akufo-Addo's first budget, saying it is full of deception and one that cannot solve Ghana's present economic challenges.

Addressing a press conference Friday to respond to the president's first budget, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu noted that the budget "stifles exports and stimulates imports."

Surrounded by NDC MPs, Mr Iddrisu wasted no time in punching holes in the budget presented by the Finance Minister on Thursday.

READ MORE: All you need to know about Ghana's 2017 Budget

"The Finance Minister failed to outline clear policies to address this important issue afflicting the Ghanaian economy today i.e. -the near-uncontrollable fall of the Ghana Cedi which is now considered the worst-performing currency in the world. This is especially regrettable in view of the stability the Ghana cedi enjoyed in the 2016 fiscal year under the NDC’s agenda for transformation," he said.

He added: "Again this is regrettable because this budget stifles exports and stimulates imports. A situation which will impact negatively on the manufacturing sector, industries as a whole, accelerated job creation and a stable currency."

President Nana Akufo-Addo's maiden budget saw the reduction and abolishing of numerous "nuisance tax."

But Mr Iddrisu held that the president's failure to reduce the corporate tax from 25 to 20 percent, reduce electricity tariffs and pay arrears owed contractors within 100 days "can only mean a betrayal of the trust" of Ghanaians.

"These Ghanaians are fast losing hope in the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government," he claimed.

-- Free SHS--

"There was clear deception in the budget statement read by the Finance Minister yesterday regarding the much-trumpeted Free SHS programme," he said.

He said starting the Free Senior High School policy with only first year students in the 2017/2018 academic year amounts to deception and a complete deviation from the president's promise to provide free education to all Ghanaians.

"We note even more worryingly that neither a cost nor a source of funding was put to this programme save for a vague mention of the limited Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) from our petroleum receipts and “other domestic revenue sources,” Mr Iddrisu claimed.

--Power outages--

He blasted the government's handling of the current power crisis and removed the Mahama administration from blame.

READ MORE: NDC is terrified after budget reading – Akoto Osei

He said: "We wish to make it clear to the NPP that the recent power cuts are entirely their doing and responsibility especially when viewed against the backdrop of boastful claims by then Vice Presidential candidate Bawumia that Dumsor was a financial problem and not a technical problem."

"The budget statement offered no clear cut measures to guarantee to deal with the recent setback in power generation and this is most worrying," he added.

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