Seth Terkper Presented A “Guggisberg” Budget

Kwabena Sarpong, leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has lambasted the Mahama government and the Finance Minister, Seth Tekper, for presenting what he describes as a "Guggisberg" budget, before Parliament on Tuesday, November 19th. Speaking on Oman FM's political programme, Mr. Sarpong opined that the Finance Minister presented nothing new from the budget which was read by the British in the year 1900. According to him, the budget statement read by Hon. Seth Tekper only addressed old policies which previous governments have already implemented. Expecting the government to address new policies on their own, Kwabena Sarpong rubbished the policies which were touted by the Finance Minister on the floor of Parliament. Hon. Seth Tekper was in the House reading next year's budget statement and Economic Policy of the government. During the presentation, Hon. Seth Tekper announced that President John Mahama and his Vice, Kwesi Amissah Arthur together with Ministers of State and Government Appointees will take a "voluntary 10% pay cut", 2014. He disclosed that "the amount to be deducted will be channeled into maternal health." He also announced government's plans for the health sector, pledging to execute some of its election manifesto commitments to the health sector. He pledged government's commitment to revamp the agricultural sector by removing taxes imposed on agricultural and fishing implements including outboard motors and medical supplies including condoms. The government, according to Hon. Tekper, since its inception has achieved a major feat by distributing free school uniforms to students in the nation. He commended the Mahama government for streamlining the education system of Ghana. But to Kwabena Sarpong, the NDC government does not have anything new to offer Ghanaians. “When you read this budget, it’s not different from what the British wrote in the year 1900; what Guggisberg did in 1927. The same thing; we cannot continue to grow like this. We have to change. The world is changing and unless we have things which can help us industrialize this country, these sorts of budget will help us...We are not doing anything new. We have energy problems, what is new about solving our energy? When the NPP came, we build thermal plants. When you came, have you built thermal plants? Is it not the same old thing?” he said. “Forty years ago, Kwame Nkrumah introduced this. So, where is the achievement as a government? Where’s your achievement as a people?" he quizzed.