Finance Minister should have forfeited all benefits as holder of public funds – COPEC
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers of Ghana (COPEC Ghana) says Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta should have led the charge of the government’s economic stimulus package by forfeiting all its benefits.
House Executive Secretary Duncan Amoah speaking on JoyNews’ Morning show said such a move would show that Mr. Ofori-Atta is setting an example for others.
According to him, the government cutting the discretionary spending of civil servants by another 10% and the salaries of heads of public enterprises by 30%, although a good measure, is not enough to help civil servants appreciate the plight of Ghanaians, because their remaining salary would still be substantial to fight against the “financial pandemic”.
Interacting with the host, Benjamin Akakpo on Friday, he said: “On the issue of reducing part of the salary and allowances to be paid, it is a good measure.
“However, there are a number of Ghanaians who don’t even have a salary cut. So for them, if you take your allowance and cut some of it off, that’s up to you, but what happens to the ordinary Ghanaian is what most of us were looking for.
“In other countries they’re pretty sure times are tough and so France is going to shell out $2 billion to say I’m going to compensate about $17 for every liter you buy. That’s what they put ordinary people back in their pockets.
So he said, “I’m not sure the finance minister has put anything really important back in the pockets of the Ghanaians other than the fact that they have cut their appointees’ benefits and all that. “
“As a holder of the government scholarship, we would have been happy to hear the Minister of Finance himself say that he was going to give up all these benefits and that he would also give up all the others. Just to be clear that he is indeed setting an example and a precedent to follow in these trying times.
But if it’s widespread, if someone is already taking 100,000¢ and you cut it 30%, they’re still comfortable compared to the other person getting less than 1,000¢,” continued Mr. Amoah.
Speaking to the press on Thursday, Ofori-Atta revealed that from April to December, the amount deducted from the salaries of heads of state-owned enterprises would be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
Again, the sector minister has revealed that there will be a 50% reduction in fuel coupon allowances for all politicians and heads of government institutions, including state-owned enterprises, from April 1 2022.
Speaking on the allocation of fuel coupons, COPEC said it is unclear how the government will implement this initiative.
According to COPEC, instead of the government still providing coupons, it should instead provide cash to state-owned enterprises so that they see how rapidly fuel prices are rising.
“What they say would sound good to their ears, however, whose fuel they cut. If a state-owned company has as part of its state fuel to the tune of 100 gallons per week and you say you’re cutting, you’re only changing its terms of service to its detriment. I don’t know how feasible that will be. They should just convert anything into money and pay.
Once you pay them the money and they go to the pump instead of going shopping with a coupon, they pay 1000¢ to fill up their tanks that week and the next week it’s 1300¢, 1500¢ .
For Mr. Amoah, this will force state-owned companies “to add their voice to the cry of poor Ghanaians for fuel prices to come down”.
Furthermore, Mr. Asamoah believes that the imposition of a complete moratorium on the purchase of imported vehicles for the rest of the year is a measure taken by the government to please the gallery.
“You and I know whatever vehicles to buy for the year by March, most of that would have been done by now.
“So if we put a cap back on it the year after that sounds good but don’t be surprised to see the 2022 land cruiser trend spreading everywhere because a lot of the importing has already been done,” said he explained. .