Dr Dickson Adomako Kissi, a New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Anyaa Sowutuom, claims that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government pursued certain of its programs and initiatives without putting in place procedures to guarantee that the necessary finances were available.
Dr. Adomako Kissi stated in an interview on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme on January 19, 2024, that the implementation of policies such as the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy and the Teacher and Nursing Trainee Allowance stretched the government’s finances, forcing it to impose taxes on a group of consumers, such as the VAT on electricity.
He noted that, while the government kept its promises and scrapped several taxes during its first year in power, the country is now in need of additional income to pursue programs that would improve Ghanaians’ lives.
“Government runs on taxes and loans. It’s as simple as that. And I think that in hindsight, and hear me out, I’m speaking for Ghana. In hindsight, we did away with some taxes and we had bold projects or bold government expenditures.
“And the two were not in synchrony. Because at any point in time when government is taking on major programs, I mean, the likes of Free Senior High School (SHS), the likes of Agenda 111, the likes of the SHSs, the STEM schools that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has built, the big hospitals, including La General, which now I know is ongoing, then the onus is on you to find money for these major projects,” he said.
He added, “So, as it stands now, the truest thing I can say is the fact that government took on many audacious programs or projects without necessarily gathering enough revenue to address those projects. And we are at a point where we’ve in a way, chewed more than we can swallow”.
The MP asked the people to support the VAT on energy, stating that it is important to ensuring the country’s steady power supply.
“And without a doubt, we are filling the brunt of it. And there’s only one way out to, as it is bring ourselves back up and that is to go back to the revenue generation or mobilization aspect. And I believe that the average Ghanaian will agree with me that we should squeeze a little so that we can have our lights on. It’s better than not squeezing at all and having no light.
“And that is a situation we’re in. It is painful. I said that this is a difficult topic to broker and I feel the average Ghanaian’s situation. But what can I do?… we’re amputating Ghanaians’ disposable income so that we can sail and arrive at the shore in one bit.”