Borrowing into a leaking basket won’t help gov’t – MP

Member of Parliament for Obuasi, Kwaku Kwarteng, says imposing more taxes on Ghanaians and borrowing indiscriminately will not deliver development to the people.

He says what government should do is manage the resources at its disposal prudently, and cut the wanton waste.

He was speaking on Joy FM and MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday in reaction to comments by a former Deputy Finance Minister, Fifi Kwetey, that the complaints about the country’s debt are borne of antiquated mentality.

Mr. Kwetey said, “to simply go into what I call antiquated mentality of shouting debt, debt, debt, as if you don’t understand that these are debts that are preciously needed for investment for me is absolutely stone-age behavior and must stop!”

But the Obuasi MP said, “This borrowing and borrowing into a basket that continues to leak and people are very uncomfortable discussing public sector waste and corruption in government will not get us anywhere.”

He argued that government’s reference to the huge public sector wage bill as justification for the imposition of more taxes and more borrowing is a rather tenuous argument.

Every government has had to deal with that problem, he maintained.

According to him, the inability of government to raise sufficient funds to support its programmes and project is an admission of failure.

If you keep imposing taxes on companies and individuals, “you only hurt the private sector, your corporate tax will not perform, in the end we are back to square one. So this approach will not work and I think government must carry out the kind of reforms we need in the public sector and cut the waste and the corruption,” he stressed.

“It is not primitive to discuss corruption and waste,” he insisted.

Kweku Kwarteng said government cannot be taking from the people in the form of more taxes under the guise that more revenue is required to develop the country.

“If you the government is broke, how can you think that the ordinary people are not broke and can pay more taxes”? he asked.

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