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Government had to seek an IMF bailout because of the minority’s resistance to the E-levy – Gabby

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Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a prominent New Patriotic Party (NPP) member, claims that the minority in parliament forced the government to apply for an IMF bailout.

He said that the government’s decision to approach the IMF was motivated by its struggles to collect enough money from the E-levy as a result of the Minority’s opposition to the tax’s passage.

“We had a major way of raising revenue which had been frustrated for six months. The point is yes there were challenges, but the government came up with its policies to see how to address those challenges and those policies were frustrated by the very Parliament that we have. The Minority Leader was actually bragging and taking credit for frustrating the government’s attempt to raise money, delaying that by six months. I am not too sure how any government in Ghana’s situation would have rescued that [situation],” he said on Joy News on Saturday.

“I think when you have an opposition party which believes that nothing matters than political capitalization of situations and can go out to the public and say that yes, praise us because we stopped the government from getting its way in raising revenue to solve the situation and the problems facing the ordinary Ghanaian,’ then I think those are the things we need to focus on,” he added.

On Friday, July 1, 2022, the Ministry of Information said that President Akufo-Addo had given the go-ahead for Ghana to start negotiations with the IMF for a bailout. The ministry said that Ken Ofori-Atta, the minister of finance, would be in charge of negotiating with the IMF in the next days.

The revelation has been met with mixed reactions since it represents a significant U-turn by the administration after it made a promise never to again participate in an IMF program after quitting the most recent one in 2019.

But according to Mr. Otchere-Darko, the administration was steadfast in its resolve not to approach the IMF, but it was persuaded to do so since the Minority had delayed the E-levy, a significant tax measure designed to raise money and steer the economy toward growth.

As a result of the circumstance, he claimed that the government is now at a loss and must turn to the IMF for assistance, saying that “we are in a difficulty but if you are government and don’t intend to go to the IMF, but you are put in a situation where your avenues for raising revenue are being closed, whether through parliamentary action or by public rejection, then you have to tackle it.”

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