General News of Tuesday, 10 March 2015
After commending the Minority in Parliament for democratically responding to the issues addressed in the President’s state of the nation address, government has however questioned why they failed to give “constructive alternatives.”
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday said the Minority’s presentation of their true state of the nation depicts the “beauty of democracy” but “what I found very intriguing and quite interesting was the absence of constructive alternative from the political opposition.”
His reaction comes on the back of a press briefing organized by the Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday to present their true state of the nation days after President John Mahama had presented to Parliament.
He queried the Minority’s presentation on how much the government had borrowed without placing it in context.
“It was all about you have borrowed, there is a threat of debt distress…if you say that public debt is rising…yes that is true but that must be explained within the context that you are having an unprecedented level of interventions in terms of infrastructural development to which government borrowed,” he remarked.
Mr. Iddrisu on behalf of government stated emphatically that government borrowed all those sums of money to build the requisite infrastructure, therefore, it is important for Ghanaians to appreciate that “government borrowed to build requisite infrastructure to support the delivery of public and social services to better the quality of life of Ghanaians.”
“Government is borrowing…to pay the 2007 Eurobond which is due in 2017; so you don’t blame government when you yourself have contributed to what today you want to criticize – that is my argument. They borrowed…so it should not be as if we are paying public debt only occasioned by the NDC administration,” he added.
The Labour Minister observed that the deliberate failure of the Minority to state the specific reasons for government borrowing to Ghanaians also indicts them for not representing the true state of the nation.
On the supposed taxes to be introduced by the government following the IMF bailout, Iddrisu said the “Minority got it wrong; it’s palpably misleading for them to say that through the IMF intervention, new taxes will be introduced.”
“Let it be stated that I’m not aware of any new taxes that government is introducing or will be introduced…”
He questioned why the NPP is heavily criticizing the government for seeking a bailout from the IMF since according to him, the NPP had sought help from the IMF too.
“They have been there before and you must share the record – true state of the nation. If it was wrong going to the IMF, they’ve been to the IMF.”