MP Bakwu Central

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga has said Ghana’s current economic situation was spearheaded by the ruling government’s negligence in managing funds and not Covid-19 as speculated.

The government has indicated that the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ghana since March 2020 has cost the country about ¢19 billion hence a need for the introduction of some taxes to help relieve the economy.

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah had explained it is necessary for Ghanaians to contribute a token towards the country’s purse as the gap between the expenditure and revenue keeps widening.

But the Bawku Central MP wants the government to halt blaming Covid-9 as in his opinion the outbreak of the virus has nothing to do with the problem.

“The taxes are not because of the pandemic, the taxes are because you have mismanaged the economy where the debt overhand is just too high.”

Speaking on PM: Express Monday on JoyNews, Mahama Ayariga alleged that the NPP took advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak and misused the country’s fund to the party’s benefit.

“You talked about the pandemic; during the pandemic the expenditures that you engaged in and how you spent it, prefigured expenditure were totally unnecessary.

“Everybody in this country saw what you did, it [Covid-19] coincided with elections and so rode on the pandemic and spent those monies in a way that gave you an electoral advantage, that is the fact and now you’re asking the Ghanaian that, well, you took all these free water, free electricity, free this, free that, we gave you money to capitalize your business and so now you have to pay,” he said.

Mr Ayariga maintained; “every money that we get had to go into paying salaries and interest on loans so it is your mismanagement.

According to him, even if Ghanaians must be taxed, the timing for the imposition is wrong.

“We are saying that in a pandemic situation, where the whole world, countries are rather pushing resources into the economy, providing stimulus, paying out cheques to people, you don’t tax people. That fundamentally is a flaw.”

Meanwhile, to keep the country’s economy on track, the government has to raise about ¢75 billion which the MP believes would not have been a problem if revenue collection had been effective.

“We are saying that in the existing tax regime if you are effective in collecting what ought to be collected, you will be able to meet your target.”

He recalled that the government last year had “a vast tax of ¢55 billion and you exceeded the target even when the pandemic was at its zenith.”

“So if we believe that we are coming out of the pandemic and you set a little higher target, if you work hard we believe that you should be able to meet that target,” Mr Ayariga added.