Politics of Monday, 13 March 2017
After two months in office, the New Patriotic Party has demonstrated that, like the National Democratic Congress, it does not wield the magic wand to solve Ghana’s problems, the Progressive People’s Party assessed.
Basing its analysis on three key statements delivered by the government – two by President Akufo-Addo on his inauguration and the state of the nation address, and the third one by finance minister in the budget – the PPP said it is disappointed in the NPP-led government so far. In the budget statement, a number of policy initiatives were announced including cuts in some taxes the NPP described as nuisance.
There have been shake-ups in the security services as well as the ministries, departments and agencies. But the PPP in a press conference by its chairman Nii Allotey Brew Hammond said the party is “not impressed” by the president’s appointments.
According to the party’s chairman, changes made by President Akufo-Addo since he assumed office on January 7, 2017 are “superficial”, suggesting they are a slap in the face of the all-inclusive government he promised as an opposition leader. Analysis He also examined, briefly, some of the president’s policy ideas: “A.
Free SHS. While the President has unequivocally stated that Free SHS starts this September, it now appears that the budget caters only for first year SHS students. The PPP promised free continuous compulsory education from kindergarten to the end of senior high school with an estimated annual cost beyond one billion Ghana Cedis.
We want to standardize school facilities from kindergarten to Senior High School with libraries, toilets, classrooms, kitchen, housing for teachers, playground, etc: and Ensure Free and Compulsory education in public schools from kindergarten to Senior High School (including significantly increasing
ICT and Vocational training so that all school leavers gain employable skills). We want to enforce the compulsory aspect of the education policy that is part of the 1992 Constitution. The NPP must come clean – what does the Free SHS policy include? We need to know so we can track it and review it responsibly. “B.
It is clear that the administration is keeping most of the energy levies. Where will the money come from to pay legacy debts and new ones being piled on to buy power from Côte d’Ivoire and inputs? What is the schedule and when can the private sector really look forward to no “dumsor”?
We need energy for Industrialization and Rapid Development to ensure maximum benefit and prosperity for all Ghanaians. We want to see solutions provided with a sense of urgency to meet domestic needs for industry and domestic use and make Ghana a net exporter of power again. “C. The one district one factory idea is to depend on the private sector for implementation. What are the incentives – tax, industrial infrastructure, and import prevention that the administration is prepared to put in place to facilitate private sector action?
How does a strictly partisan NPP local government ensure that all Ghanaians get opportunity to participate in this? What about those local investors who have toiled for years without any help from previous NPP and NDC administrations? “D. Kayayei Tax. What is Kayayei Tax and who are its “victims”.
Are you a Kayayei only if you have recently migrated from the northern part of the country? What about if you are from any of the Zongos down south? If you are a Ga, Ashanti, or Ewe who carries goods for pay, are you exempt from “kayayei tax”? Or is this a political value proposition? And what does a kayayei really need? Not compulsory education? Not jobs in the three northern regions?”
United front to change the course of governance, the PPP is bringing together like-minded political parties, pressure groups, and individuals for the 2020 general elections. “We want to stand together, now, united to offer disciplined, objective opposition and prove to the people that there is a better choice out there.”
Nii Allotey Brew Hammond is certain, with a united front, voters would find an alternative to the NPP and NDC. “We want change that will raise the standard of living of the average Ghanaian. We do not want fancy ideas or promises.
We do not care for the repeating of campaign slogans. We want the implementation of ideas that will create jobs, put food on the table, educate all of our children, heal the sick, give us a roof over our heads and make our future bright.”