A Professor at the University of Ghana, Ransford Yaw Gyampo, has taken a dig at some government loyalists who “spewed invectives on us” when he and his likes drew attention to some of the policies announced in the 2022 budget statement.
He said the last-minute attempt by Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta to lobby for the budget to be approved was simply a demonstration of “incompetent politique”.
Prof Gyampo believes Mr Ofori-Atta “mistook this current parliament in terms of its composition, to be one of the usual ones we have known since 1992”.
He, therefore, praised the Minority for the stance on the budget, which he said contrasts what happened during the vetting of ministerial nominees.
“Now that we know what a hung parliament can do, let the Finance Minister lead the dialogue session with the minority,” he wrote on Saturday, November 27.
“Without the Finance Minister’s preparedness to dialogue about his figures, the majority group cannot do much.”
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Prof. Yaw Gyampo writes
When we warned, their social media political land-guards spewed invectives on us, forgetting that emotions are emotions. They are simply incoherent with logic and critical thinking. Every pill that heals is bitter. Parliament cannot be rubber stamp in perpetuity.
The last minute attempt to halt voting for further consultation, was a demonstration of “incompetent politique”. The sector Minister should have been in parliament the very moment the debates commenced for the purposes of listening and making overtures. But it appears he mistook this current parliament in terms of its composition, to be one of the usual ones we have known since 1992.
Given the shoddy work the minority did in the vetting and approval of ministers and the backlash from their party and constituents, there was no way they weren’t going to pacify their party and members by standing their grounds on this particular issue.
Let this be a lesson to the majority group and in particular, the Executive arm of government in deepening consultations ahead of time before any major policy issue or proposal goes to parliament for deliberations.
Now that we know what a hung parliament can do, let the Finance Minister lead the dialogue session with the minority. Without the Finance Minister’s preparedness to dialogue about his figures, the majority group cannot do much.
No one is against taxation and levies that provide resources for governance. But such levies must not overly burden the poor and loyal tax payers.
So, let there be sincere talk about this with a view to reducing the levy to anything below one percent. Before a colleague in our Economics Department, Prof Baah Boateng recommended 0.5percent as e-levy, many Ghanaians had already expressed the view favoring a reduction in the levy.
So now, let the powers that be listen.
What has happened is good for democracy. Nothing is lost. Real politique must commence now. Afterwards, some very minor revisions and tweaking of the budget in relation to comments and suggestions from inside and outside parliament, should get the statement passed quickly for governance to go on.
PAV Ansah Street
Suro Nipa House