Doomed Budget – NDC’s Claivoyance

“Some people are highly empathic, some people are telempathic, or telepathic, some are clairempathic, while others are claircognizant, clairvoyant, clairalian, clair audient, clairgustaant, clairsentient; and a very few are all of the above…”

C JoyBell C

WHO SAID CLAIRVOYANCE is a misguided quality? Alexis Carrel has noted: “Intuition comes very close to clairvoyance; it appears to be the extrasensory perception of reality.” Alan Alda on his part notes: “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition, what you’ll discover will be wonderful, what you’ll discover is yourself”.

‘Clairvoyance’ is generally taken to be the faculty of perceiving things or events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact. A ‘clairvoyant’ (as a noun) is a person who is exercises the faculty of clairvoyance; as an adjective, ‘clairvoyant’ simply means ‘pertaining to clairvoyance. The origin is French ‘clair’ = ‘clear’ ‘voyant’ (from ‘voir’ = ‘see’).

Before government tells Ghanaians what Budget entails – to stimulate growth, the NDC has rubbished it, and prescribed that it would send us into recession as experienced in 1983. The perceived austerity measure would bring untold hardships on Ghanaians and revert the country to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) status by 2019. Haba! – as I.K.Gyasi would say.

The Finance Minister will be seeking approval to spend some GH¢61 billion and this amount is needed to anchor the NPP government’s agenda to move the economy beyond the reliance on foreign aid. So, it will be a budget on ‘self- reliance! You remember the Kutu – days of ‘self – reliance’? 1972 – 1979? Everybody, or nearly everybody had a backyard garden and food came plenty. We were even able to export corn to needy countries in Africa and elsewhere.

What initiatives does the government have to stimulate economic activities and thereby ensuring economic growth and the creation of jobs? We shall go further to ask, what will government do to attract the private sector: will electricity tariffs be reduced? The challenge is the poor revenue mobilization which had compelled the government to revise the target in July this year. Government laments a leakage in the payroll management, the high public debt (now nearing 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product) (GDP). Besides, the economy is being swallowed up by the high interest payments on loans which consumes about 35percent of tax revenue. Before the minority spoke, we were yet to be told how government would obtain the needed GH¢1.2 billion for the free SHS programme and GH¢ 468.5 million for the school feeding programme. And what does the government say about Planting for Food and Jobs programme; what about the ‘agricultural roads’, what about the allocation to the ministries, department and agencies (MDA’s) which are expected to guzzle about 50 percent of the estimated GH¢61 billion?

At a roundtable breakfast discussion, the minority accused the government of failing to implement all its campaign promises: one district, one factory; one village, one dam; one constituency $1 million; the free SHS policy.

Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, the ranking member on Finance Committee (of Parliament) and the Minority Spokesperson on Finance did not spare the rod, and mentioned the takeover of the UT and Capital Banks and said: “what this means is that the taxpayer – households and businesses – will be paying the Ghana Commercial Bank (GBC) an equivalent of GH¢2 billion for the collapse of the two banks. This amount will add to the existing public debt”. But how was GH¢ 177.2 ‘scandalously spent’ on the energy Bond?

A predicted reversion into the 1983 is what gores the ox. Have the Minority forgotten so soon that it was their predecessor – government that was in power? Why remind us about those gory times? Ato Forson may have been too young then: the atrocities of the military – tortures and killings. Read Mike Adjei’s Death and Pain – Rawlings’s Ghana’: “There are no societies without social ills. But when the leadership rather than the criminal elements in a society, plays a leading role in such crimes, social order breaks down and the moral fibre of the society is destroyed. This was the fate that befell Ghana.

There is no doubt some soldiers looted state coffers with the help of their civilian accomplices. They had to be punished, but they should have been tried first. Somehow all the eight officers murdered could have escaped if they wished. Perhaps the only reason they did not do so was that political murders were virtually unknown in the country. If it had been today, when Rawlings has proved beyond doubt that he is a vampire, most of them would have left the country at the least opportunity.”

Do we talk about the disincentive to the private sector, with charges of corruption and exploitation on the rich “imperialists, colonialists and neo – colonialists” who had fleeced the poor- with the formation of the Workers Defence Committees (WDCs) and People’s Defence Committees (PDC’s);   the rank  and file sang: “We no go sit down make them cheat we every day”. The dog – running curfew, the setting up of the Citizens Vetting Committee to ‘vet’ people whose lifestyles and expenditures substantially exceeded their known and declared incomes leading to confiscation of property. The withdrawal of all 50 cedi notes – damage was done to the economy and the confidence of the moneyed-class was shaken.

Don’t remind some of us of 1983 when people queued for non – existent ‘essential commodities, when people who had gone in exodus to neighbouring countries returned with whole bags of rice, loaves of bread, ‘cakes’ of soap and tubes of cleaning past. An ‘excess’ of more than three were confiscated by Border Guards.

Dont remind some of us of 1983 when the Agege Deportees’ and ‘Agege Returnees’ worsened the Ghanaian economy and people were buying uncooked balls of kenkey to cook for their families’ supper. One could prepare coffee, cocoa or tea, but made do with ‘arwemo’ instead of bread – because there was virtually no bread

You know what some people expected to hear from the Minority group on the budget: yes? What about finding ways to get the wealthy in the society to support the Free SHS? What about encouraging the planting of food in backyard gardens in support of ‘Planting for Food and Jobs? What about assisting the poor by cutting down the swelling salaries of Chief Executive  Officers (CEO) and creating a Fund to pep up the poor (LEAP)? What about supporting any justifiable tax, including money transfer by non-bank institutions?