Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Kweku Kwateng has called on Parliament to approve the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government presented to Parliament last week Wednesday by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta.
Mr. Kwateng said the economy will break down and Ghanaians would be doomed if Parliament fails to approve the 2022 budget statement, warning that its consequences will not be good for the citizenry.
The Oboasi West MP, who is also the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament said Parliament cannot say they will not approve the 2022 budget, because it is the foundation upon which they could consider request for revenue mobilization measures and resource allocation that government is seeking for, or if they reject, all will have to be start from the scratch again.
Rejecting the 2022 budget, he said comes with its negative implications which includes chaos in the country because there will be no money for government contracts, no money to pay government workers, and those who worked in the previous year and are not paid, cannot be paid.
Also he said government would not be able to honour its international obligation which comes with its own troubles and sanctions.
“If we don’t approve the budget and by the 1st of January, 2022, there is no approved Appropriation, Public Sector workers cannot be paid, Government cannot honour its international obligations and we will throw this country into chaos. Let those saying we should reject the budget repent from what they are thinking about”, he noted when he stood up on the floor of Parliament to second the motion for the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government which was moved in the House on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta.
The former Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr. Kwateng said this when he stood up to second the motion for the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, 23rd of November, 2021.
The motion was ably moved by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta in Parliament on 17th of November, 2021.
With self-confidence and spirited argument, Mr. Kwaku Kwateng said “we have suffered a lot because of the huge gap between revenue mobilization and expenditure, stressing that now is the time to bridge that gap as the 2022 Budget Statement is seeking exactly to do.”
He since 2006, the gap between the country’s revenue mobilization and expenditures continue to be widening, a development he attributed to lack of bold initiatives by successive governments to address the challenge.
Giving an instance, he said in 2006, for every GH₵100.00 collected for both tax and non-tax revenue, GH₵15.00 is used to pay interest on the loans the country has contracted.
“Again in 2007, the amount used in paying interest on the loans contracted by the country went up by, with the country recording GH₵12.00 for the payment of interest out of every GH₵100.00 revenue collect.”
The story he said was not different in 2008, as out of every GH₵100.00 revenue collected, GH₵14.00 is used to service interest on the loans contracted.
He notedthat, getting to the close of the President Mills administration in 2012, out of every GH₵100.00 revenue mobilized, GH₵16.00 was used to pay interest on the loans the country had borrowed.
“By 2016, when the Mahama administration was leaving office, for every GH₵100.00 collected as revenue, we were now using GH₵33.00 to finance our interest. I am painting this picture to let us understand the problem this budget is seeking to deal with and to urge you all to approve it”, he noted.
As a result of this, in 2020, for every GH₵100.00 revenue collected, GH₵45.00 was used to service interest on the loans the country had borrowed.
He said although the year has not ended, indications are that Ghana is likely to spend GH₵47.00 as payment of interest on every GH₵100.00 revenue collected.
The trend he noted, cannot be allowed to continue since it is not sustainable.