Sammy Gyamfi, National Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has blasted the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) for “using Covid-19 as an escape route for their ineptness.”
Speaking on TV3’s New Day with Johnnie Hughes, he said it is shocking how the governing party takes pleasure in blaming the outbreak of Covid-19 for the local economy’s downturn.
He stated that “the Akufo-Addo-led government’s mismanagement of the country has brought unbearable hardship that will take a long time to repair, and Covid-19 only came at a good time to provide the government with a plausible but lazy excuse.”
“The difficulties we are currently experiencing are a direct result of the bad policies and insensitive leadership of President Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia, and nothing else.”
According to Sammy Gyamfi, the government has overburdened Ghanaians by instituting new nuisance taxes.
“I want to state unequivocally that the reason for the increase in fuel prices is not due to an increase in the international market price. It’s not because the cost of gasoline has risen in the United States. The reason for this is that the insensitive Akufo-Addo government has imposed about three vexing taxes on fuel prices.”
Among the taxes he referred to as vexing, Sammy stated that “a 10 pesewas sanitation and pollution levy,” also known as a “bola tax,” is levied on every liter of diesel and petrol purchased.
He also stated that “they [the government] introduced a 20 pesewas increase on the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) on every liter of diesel and petrol purchased, as well as a 1% Covid-19 Levy on the VAT flat rate, which is applied on supplies of retailers and wholesalers, and another 1% Covid-19 Levy on the NHIL, which is also applied on goods and services.”
Sammy Gyamfi urged the government and its communicators to stop using Covid-19 as an excuse for anything they couldn’t do because “the economy was deteriorating even before Covid-19.” What Covid-19 did was expose and exacerbate an already deteriorating economy.”
Prior to Covid-19, the fiscal deficit increased from 6.3 percent in 2016 to 7.5 percent in 2019, the public debt increased from 56 percent to 64.5 percent, and the manufacturing sector, which is critical to the development of an emerging economy like ours, shrank from 7.9 percent in 2016 to 6.5 percent in 2019.