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The Minority in Parliament has predicted next year will be a difficult year for Ghanaians despite assurances by government of better times ahead.
According to the NDC minority, claims by President Akufo-Addo that the 2018 budget will create jobs is a mirage since evidence on the grounds run contrary to the projections by government.
Addressing a roundtable ahead of Wednesday’s budget presentation by the Finance Minister, Minority spokesperson on finance, Cassiel Ato Forson said the private sector is so distressed it cannot deliver the jobs government is hoping for.
“We believe that the 2018 budget won’t create jobs. How can you create jobs when commercial banks are in a big distress? the local banks don’t have the liquidity to lend to the private sector to create jobs. The budget deficit in IMF’s article four is projected to be 3.8%, so ladies and gentlemen, next year, let us be assured that there is going to be there will be severe austerity and hardships equivalent to 1983,” he said.
He also called for accountability in the manner in which over GHC177 million was spent on the issuance of the energy sector bond, which was poorly patronized.
The Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu who also spoke at the programme called on the media to hold the government to account as it was done to the erstwhile government led by John Mahama.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo says the 2018 budget will announce significant electricity tariff review and reduction to help boost the industrial sector.
Delivering a speech at the 6th Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Quality Awards, an event organized by the Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ghana Standards Authority at the Banquet Hall of the State House, President Akufo Addo said the effects of the rapidly emerging foreign markets on the Ghanaian economy require that government introduces policies that would offer all the help Ghanaian industries need to stay competitive.