We won’t buy into the Government’s lame Excuses – Minority Caucus
They maintained that within a space of just one year, fuel prices have gone up about 43% increment under this insensitive government.
The Minority caucus in Parliament has completely rejected what it described as “the government’s flimsy excuses on price hikes on fuel” in the country.
“We wish to state emphatically that we completely and flatly reject these lame excuses from the government”, this was contained in a press statement read by Hon. John Abdullai Jinapor a.k.a Black J.J at a press conference held by the caucus with the Parliamentary Press Corps on Tuesday.
According to them, they had taken notice of the recent astronomical increase in fuel prices at the pumps and its attendant high cost of living to the ordinary Ghanaian. This they intimated, cannot be glossed over.
They maintained that within a space of just one year, fuel prices have gone up about 43% increment under this insensitive government. This increases; they held had resulted in untold hardships which are threatening the lives of the ordinary Ghanaian.
According to them, they had further taken notice of the lame excuses from the government and its communicators that they cannot do anything to cushion Ghanaians in this regard because; they do not control the world market price of crude oil. They argued further that what the NPP government had failed to tell Ghanaians was that the devaluation of the cedi was a major contributor to these astronomical increases.
“Since when, did the NPP government, led by Nana Akuffo Addo and Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia realized that government had no control over world market prices? Is it not the same people, who promised Ghanaians, prior to assuming power that they would abolish the energy sector levies describing them as obnoxious, and further promised move the country from taxation to production?” they queried.
The Minority opined that what Ghanaians were witnessing under this NPP government was a complete display of incompetence, arrogance and deception as far as the energy sector is concerned.
The Minority group stated that not only has the NPP government retained the so-called obnoxious taxes, but have also gone a step further to increase existing taxes, and in some instances introduced new draconian ones only to worsen the already impoverished people in the country.
They maintained that whereas fuel prices kept on escalating and the inflation rate kept soaring by 10.6% the NPP government only increased salaries of public works by a paltry 4% thus, worsening in the plight of workers.
According to them, as a result of bad leadership under the Akufo-Addo and Bawumia, the level of frustration and discontent are fast spreading among the populace, with the ever increasing loss of confidence in the current administration.
SUGGESTIONS FROM THE MINORITY
They indicated that taken into consideration the malfeasance and incompetence in the administration of the NPP, which has culminated into the suffering of the people, they proffer some concrete suggestion as part of their responsibility to ensure that the consumer is cushioned and have some respite.
These included, the suspension of the Special Petroleum Tax imposed on petroleum products in the 2022 budge. The need to abolish the Special Petroleum Tax because Ghana is now a net exporter of petroleum as her revenue receipts from petroleum exports are expected to increase from the initially projected figure of $800 million to over $1.2 billion. A review of the 10 pesewas per litre of fuel for garbage management. This is because the country continues to be engulfed in filth. What is more, the rural dweller does not contribute to garbage creation in cities. Therefore, there was no wisdom in taxing them in this regard. Also, governments should, with immediate effect, reconstitute the board of Tema Oil Refinery and appoint a Substantive Managing Director; a reduction in the price of LPG to enable consumers afford it, and also stop using biomass as wood-fuel, charcoal, etc. failure to do this, the NDC will be compelled to use every legitimate Parliamentary means to ensure that the right thing is done.
By S. O. Ankamah