Public Expresses Views On Budget

SONY DSCSONY DSCThe current erratic power supply, popularly known as “Dumso Dumso”, yesterday hindered a majority of Ghanaians from watching or listening to the presentation of the 2015 Budget Statement to Parliament, by Mr. Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, reports Joseph Edu Archison.

When The Ghanaian Times went to the streets of Accra to sample people’s views on the budget, immediately after its presentation, it was discovered that some, including traders and drivers, could not listen to the presentation on radio or watch it on television because of power outage.

Mr. Philip Nyarko and Alex Addo, both commercial drivers at the Neoplan Station at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, said the station had been without power for the past week, and they could not listen to or watch the presentation of the budget.

They, however, expressed the hope that the budget would include measures to curb the load shedding.

Concerning the contents of the budget, Baaba Crentsil reports that a teacher, Philip Addo, said he did not see anything wrong with an increment in the Value- Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products.

He expressed the hope that the budget would address the misuse of funds by public officials, so that, government could generate enough revenue for development.

Micheal Nartey, a National Service personnel, expressed worry that some public workers had not even received their salaries, and kicked against the increment in VAT next year.

He appealed to government to consider increasing salaries of workers next year, to cushion them against economic hardship.

Charles Amankwa reports that some drivers and passengers at the Circle main station expressed disappointment at the government’s decision to increase tax on petroleum products by 17.5 per cent.

Stephen Anku, a trotro driver, said the increase had come as a shock to him and his colleagues because, they were rather expecting a decrease in prices of petroleum products, considering the current reduction in prices on the world market.

He was of the view that the increment would bring untold hardship on Ghanaians, especially, those who patronise the services of intercity commercial buses, popularly known as ‘tro-tro.’

“This means that tro-tro fares will be increased at the end of the year. And you know whenever there is an increment in petroleum prices, it affects the prices of all other products and services”, he lamented.

James Ankrah, a station master, pleaded with the government to, as a matter of urgency, review the increment downwards.

“If government is unable to reduce petroleum prices then there is no need to increase it, now that the economy of the country is in its poor state. We are pleading that it cuts the increment by 15 per cent so that it will not reflect in trotro fares”, he said.

Mr. Ankrah said Ghanaians would end up using all their incomes on transportation.

Stella Manu, a public worker, who was seated in a trotro bus, suggested that the increment should have come with an adjustment in workers salary and allowances.

She was of the view that the increment was a poor economic decision which needed to be reviewed.

However, others at the Neoplan Station, who were unaware of the increment, were shocked when the reporter informed them about it.

Juliana Mintah, a trader, told The Times that “If government has done such an increment, then it needs to rescind its decision to avoid the wrath of Ghanaians”.

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