Former President Mahama has asked the government to put in proper measures to cut down on expenditure that has crippled the economy.
“Unfortunately, in this budget, Ghanaians are slapped with stiff additional taxes and no tangible cuts in expenditure and they just say do not travel with your V8s and V6s but if you are travelling outside Accra, you can use your V8 and V6, but do not use it in town,” he said.
Former President Mahama questioned who was going to monitor if appointees used their V8 and V6 or not because expenditure had increased significantly by GH¢80 billion adding that “it appears we have to accept to live with the excessive bloated size of government at the Presidency”.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, during the budget presentation stated that limited budgetary allocation for the purchase of vehicles and for avoidance of doubt, the purchase of new vehicles would be restricted to locally assembled vehicles and only essential official foreign travel across the government including State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) would be allowed.
He further stated that no official foreign travel would be allowed for members of boards, accordingly, all government institutions should submit a travel plan for the year 2023 by mid-December of all expected travels to the Chief of Staff.
Mr Ofori-Atta also directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), and SOEs to reduce fuel allocations to political appointees and heads of MDAs, MMDAs, and SOEs by 50 per cent which applied to all methods of fuel allocation including coupons, electronic cards, chit systems, and fuel depots and 50 per cent of previous year’s budget allocation for fuel would be earmarked for official business pertaining to MDAs, MMDAs, and SOEs.
Addressing the 13th Congregation of the Accra Business School, former President Mahama criticised the government for failing to reduce the size of his government, which was having a toll on the economy and urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to reduce the number of his appointees to help bring down government expenditure to alleviate the hardships the citizenry were faced with.
“The government’s directive on the use of V8s and V6s by appointees is untenable, it will be difficult for the government to monitor the movement of his appointees, what will be the modalities to be used by the government to track appointees who drive V8s and V6s in Accra and its surroundings,” he quizzed.