The Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) said on Wednesday gave a mixed reaction to the 2009 budget lauding the government for some actions but criticising it for others.
The party said the budget failed to address the most disturbing economic issues, which it identified as inflation and depreciation of the currency.
“The Minister failed to outline adequate measures the government intends to take to stabilise the macro-economic environment in order to build confidence in the economy,” DFP said in a statement signed by Mr Bede Ziedeng, General Secretary.
“It is the view of the DFP that building of confidence in an economy is the single most important factor that will help generate the necessary revenues that will enable government to prosecute both its economic and social agenda.”
DFP said instead of introducing tariffs on food imports to protect local production, government should have provided subsidies to the agriculture sector.
“This is what government has done for the cocoa sector in the past, to boost production, and the same ought to be done to the rest of the agricultural sector. Merely attempting to ward off foreign food imports through the imposition of tariffs is inadequate.”
DFP hailed the decision to provide school uniforms to pupils and increase the capitation grant, but pointed out that one of the challenges of the capitation grant was that it was in huge arrears and asked for “specific measures” to for effective implementation of the policy.
It said the real challenge in the education was the provision of adequate facilities such as classrooms and offices, laboratory equipment, teaching and learning materials and training of teachers.
DFP described the reduction of fuel prices as “window dressing” as they was not far-reaching enough to make any significant impact on the cost of living.
It commended the government for deciding to cut down on its expenditure and expressed the hope that it would stay committed to it.
DFP, however, questioned the rationale behind the policy of putting all government revenue including GETFund, Road Fund into one basket, saying they were created to deal with specific economic challenges.
“On the whole, the DFP is happy to note the government's intention to continue with most of the projects and programmes initiated by the previous regime in line with the Directive Principles of State Policy as laid down in the constitution.