2021 is almost ended but Government is still struggling to get its 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy Document approved by parliament. Not just parliament is pushing against the budget but it is fair to say a majority of the country is against it.
A key component of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy Document which has the floor of parliament divided and Ghanaians kicking against the budget is the infamous e-levy. It is the hope of Government that the 1.75% charge on the e-levy would raise GHC7 billion which they plan to use to beef up the country’s cyber security and support the many unemployed to venture into entrepreneurship.
But I ask, is the e-levy chief amongst Ghana’s problems of we are focusing on the wrong things.
To begin with, the Akufo-Addo led administration has added a whooping GHC220 billion to Ghana’s debt stock since it assumed office. To make this clear that is more than all the accumulated borrowing of all previous Governments since independence. Now I ask, if GHC220 billion could not help you achieve your targets, what is GHC7 billion annually going to do in that regard.
I have always held the notion that our country’s problem is inadequate revenue but rather the bag that holds the revenue we collect has a huge hole underneath through which we continue to lose the taxes of the Ghanaian people. The 2020 Auditor General’s report reported that the country lost over GHC20 billion to misappropriations and corrupt practices. What is GHC7 billion going to do when you lose GHC20 to mismanagement of the country’s finances
And our leaders keep appealing to our conscience with the slogan, “no nation has ever been developed without taxes. Yes, that is very true, but no Nations has also relied solely of taxes for its development. As we speak I do not think state-owned enterprises would be up to 50 if we are to count those we own. The ones we own keep recording loses and yet their CEO’s and directors are paid huge sums of money to run these companies. The primary objective of ever business entity is to make profits, so if the leaders of a company appointed to lead the companies continue to oversee loses then common logic is to relieve them of their post and find those competent enough to make the company some money.
What do we see in Ghana, we have such incompetent MD’s, CEO’s and directors being paid fat salaries while their companies record loses year in year out. These are conversations we should be having as a country.
Our health service is in ruins, educational standards keep falling, unemployment is the order of the day, our streets are not safe, sanitation is a big problem in the country etc. This are conversations we should be having, this a problems Governments should be given as possible solutions to when they are in power, not harassing the people at each turn, belittling their intelligence and what have you.
It is the ordinary Ghanaian who feels it first when things are hard because he is not given fuel coupons, he is not on a 4 or 5 digit salary, he is not given allowances every little thing he does in his life, so when he says things are hard then things are hard and if you have no solution to his cries, please do not tell him or her that ‘things are hard because you are living beyond your means’, like the Northern Regional Minister is reported to have said today.
You maybe in power today and be enjoying everything for free, but tomorrow is another day and you may have your power and privileges taken from you. Then what next?