• Dr Stephen Amoah says borrowing funds to create 1 million jobs in the country is not wrong
• He has, however, been faced with stiff disapproval from the former Deputy Minister of Information
• The two argued over the finance minister declaration on the creation of 1 million jobs without a loan
A member of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Dr Stephen Amoah has said that he finds no faults with a government’s decision to borrow funds to concentrate on creating jobs.
According to him, if there are no other means of appropriately addressing the issue of unemployment, a government is rightly on track to borrow to create employment.
He believes the jobs so created by such initiatives will in the long run create revenue for the government to settle the debt through taxation.
“We are still collecting revenue. I don’t think raising 100 billion is too big for any government that is serious to concentrate on (employment). I know that our budgetary revenue generation has two major arms, taxes and debt. The situation in which we find ourselves, revenue, we may not meet our benchmark so we will have to inevitably and uncontrollably rely on debt and there is nothing wrong with it if you don’t have any other option. So, we shouldn’t create jobs?” he argued during a panel discussion on PM express.
He further explained that borrowing to create jobs in the country “is rather good for a long-term goal, create the jobs today, the jobs could expand the industries, you generate revenue to stabilize the economy. That is the best mechanization of harmonizing your fiscal policy parameters. It is done everywhere in the world. You can’t say that because there is a problem, you can’t generate revenue, and your debt stock going up so you sit idle and die? You will not create jobs? No, what you have to do is not to increase the burden on the people and that is why we are not trying to take taxes from them.”
Expressing a dissenting view on this, the former Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu on the same platform insisted that such initiatives only make the administration of the state cumbersome for the government.
“In 2016, when the NPP was all over the place shouting and condemning us (NDC) for mismanaging the economy allegedly, our deficit was 6.3 per cent. It is possible to manage the pandemic and keep the economy in check. Even without the pandemic, in 2018, the deficit was 7 per cent, in 2019, it was 7.5 per cent. Higher than what they came to meet…”
They both argued on the back of the mid-year budget review presented by the finance minister, in which he declared governments intentions to create 1 million jobs in the country without loan facilities.
Kwakye Ofosu was pessimistic about the Finance Minister’s goal. He added, “…for the Finance Minister to come to Parliament and say that he is going to create one million jobs and go ahead to say that he will not borrow to do this, it is an almost impossible task to achieve.”