The Medium to Long Term effects of Akufo-Addo’s punitive populism and Hipocricy – the VAT Increase in perspective

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President Akufo-Addo made and Dr Bawumia made many fantastic promises and routinely added more promises in government they would not keep. Ghanaians may let them off on some but not on the pledges reduce taxes, weed out corruption, end borrowing, will not practice family and friends government, end economic hardship, reduce utility prices drastically.

While he started adroitly by curtailing expectations on the one village one dam, one district one factory vibes, he cannot employ that strategy against corruption, nepotism, insecurity, harsh economic conditions, arrogance and nepotism. The 53% (of Ghanaians) hired him to accomplish the promises he made. And his performance on that front will continue to determine how long Ghanaians will abide with him and his government as he grapples with an economic in a ditch. His pedigree as weak leader, brutal, and a hypocrite Will continue to create a challenge for him and his government.

President Akufo-Addo and his administration are creating moral hazard by exploiting expedient populist policies. These policies are have started dwarfing the gains made over the years but considered to be good politics by those who only think about power. Economic feasibility and foundation have given way to blockbuster entitlements that in long-term will do nothing but great harm to the overall livelihood and economic future of the country, especially those the President claims to be helping. The government’s argument against some of the taxes the previous administration implemented is quite lame considering the enormous losses the country incur as result of the decision to remove some of the strategic taxes.

It is hard to understand the logic of the government’s double standard when it comes to tax issues. The government cannot talk about global market dynamics and other commitments with Ghanaians because it has completely and deliberately ignored modern standard when it comes to taxation. Implementation of sound economic policies should be the priority of a genuinely good and responsible government not cheap populism just to win votes.

Freebies are highly addictive as with steroids, cigarettes or alcohol, the body wants more as time goes by, not less. It behooves on government to weigh the effect of its policies. The economy is confined to fiscal burden and strain that is destroying efficiency and encouraging waste and pilferage.

People who expressed reservations about the way this government implemented the Free Secondary education and other policies, are not necessarily against these policies. They did in-depth assessment of the policies and their effect on the economy, infrastructural development in the medium to long-term effects. The number of graduates the system will produce every year will continue to increase with the proliferation of more private universities and other academic institutions. Do we have prepared outlets to absorb these graduates? This and other crucial issues were what people asked our policy implementers. With this huge burden on economy,government went ahead to remove some taxes to appease its support base.

The Mahama Administration went to the IMF among other things, to improve our revenue generation system. Government revenue improved because of measures the administration put in place to seal leakages. May be we must find out from Government why it couldn’t fulfill its campaign promise of opting out of the IMF deal immediately it takes over power.

The administration hastily removed some taxes without recourse to the agreed ECOWAS tax regime. So the calculation was = increase expenditure while you remove taxes which will automatically exert pressure on the economy. The solution was the massive bonds issued and monies borrowed to amortise our loans under the guise of creating space for more borrowing. I am yet to be told the wisdom behind the $1 million one constituency promise when we have municipal and district assemblies charged with the responsibility of handling development in our districts and regions.

Why should the party burden itself with the one district one factory, one village one dam promise when we have other fast money generating ventures available. Take the telcos and count the number of unemployment they have created with their mobile money system. Subsequent regimes will go through hell because of the policies this administration is implementing and precedents it is setting.

The Mahama Administration took certain bold and prudent decisions which were politically threatening. The President considered the interest of the masses and the economy into consideration against its political future (2016election). These policies placed the economy on a solid foundation culminating in the projection by the world bank that the economy in 2018 will grow by 8+%. Gradually we are losing all the gains because this cheap populism.

Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow

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