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Politics of Thursday, 21 November 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Finance Minister presented figures from last year’s budget – Richard Quashigah alleges

The Member of Parliament for Keta Richard Quashigah has alleged amongst other things that the 2020 budget statement presented by the finance minister in Parliament on November 13, 2019, is nothing short of a compilation of inconsistent figures from previous years, to deceive Ghanaians.

According to the legislator, what the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta and the NPP government sought to do was to present a rather blurry state of affairs to score political points.

Mr Quashigah on the floor of Parliament argued that Mr Ofori-Atta only copied figures from last year’s budget statement and presented to Ghanaians.

He said upon careful perusal of the budget statement by his party, they have realized that Mr Ofori-Atta lifted verbatim the figures from budget 2017 through to 2019 in what he presented last Wednesday in parliament.

Quoting some parts of the 2020 budget statement to back his claims, Quarshigah said, “The Minister for Finance on page 4…indicated 97,373 graduates have been given an opportunity under NaBCO to better position themselves for future jobs...but you come further in his concluding points, it is indicated ‘that we have established the national builders’ corps and recruited 100,000 graduates. Inconsistency, Mr Speaker.”

He continued, “In one breath in the same report, the finance minister talks about 97, 300 and in another breath 100,000. Mr Speaker again when you look at the 2019 report, it was the same figure that was quoted by the minister for finance, in effect, in the subsequent year, no group of people were engaged.”

“They only lifted the figures from the previous budget and presented that to the house. That obviously is deception, Mr Speaker,” Mr Quarshigah emphasized.

Under the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, the Keta MP further announced that figures had also been ‘copied and pasted’.

“The finance minister indicated that ‘we have engaged 1.4 million people who have directly benefited from jobs under Planting for Food and Jobs…These were the numbers we got from 2019 which he is presenting to the house…,” he added.

On these allegations, however, both the Finance Minister and members on the majority wing in parliament are yet to officially make a defence.

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