The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has declared its resolve to fight the impediments that lay in the way of the Ghanaian people to developing their personal and wealth potential and to make it possible for every Ghanaian to grow in a land of possibilities.
In what was ostensibly an NPP alternative vision for Ghana going into the 2016 general elections, it bemoaned the fast depreciation of the Ghana cedi with an attendant high inflation rates, the ‘deformation’ of the agricultural sector, the heavy fall in cocoa production, and the escalating debt stock of the country.
The party expressed grave worry that the NDC Government, within the last seven years alone, had ballooned Ghana’s debt stock from $9.5m to $99.5b. Effectively, “the NDC government within the last seven years of its stay in power accumulated 90% of Ghana’s total debt stock and 72% of the external debt stock.”
Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, who presented the party’s alternative budget to government’s 2016 budget, said that taking Ghana out of economic dependence was fundamental, and an NPP government would ensure that the current IMF programme with Ghana would be the last of such this country would ever experience.
“We must move Ghana away from the dependence on foreign aid. With sound economic policies, we can do it ourselves.”
An NPP Government would therefore significantly cut down on borrowing and make Ghana the most business-friendly country in Africa.
To promote trade, industry and economic empowerment, Dr. Bawumia said an NPP government would oversee a significant restructuring of Ghana’s tax regime.
“Firms employing 1-5% of fresh graduates as their workforce will receive 40% tax credits on salaries & wages, and 60% for above 5%. Capital Gains Tax will be reduced to 10%, corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% and withholding taxes reduced to the 2008 levels to spur production. We will review the taxes in the aviation industry to make it more competitive and abolish the special import levy of 1-2%, taxes on private tertiary institutions, as well as VAT on financial services.”
On state support for education and skill development, the vice- presidential candidate outlined an ambitious plan.
He said they would reintroduce the teacher and nurse trainee allowances scrapped off by the NDC government and revisit their free education policy. Additionally, they would set up a Zongo Development Fund and an Arts/Entertainment Fund to identify and nurture local talents and create jobs within the arts and entertainment industry.
Dr. Bawumia said the prospective NPP government would focus on making agriculture a moneymaking business. It would thus concentrate on diversification of output through value addition. He encouraged Ghanaians not to lose hope for the hour of change was upon them.