Ghana’s Deputy Minister-designate for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dr. Stephen Amoah, has praised the country’s 1992 Constitution, saying it has performed “tremendously well” in protecting and managing its fiscal space.
According to him, the 1992 constitution has done a lot of good in supporting the country’s economy despite the economic crisis the country has been facing for years.
Dr. Amoah said this during a presentation at the GIMPA Law Conference 2023 held on Tuesday at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Accra.
Held under the theme: “The 1992 Constitution of Ghana @ 30; Taking Stock, Assessing Progress and Reflecting on the Future”, the event brought together experts and thought leaders from different sectors of the country’s economy to discuss the impact of the country’s policies on economic life of the citizens.
In his speech, Dr. Stephen Amoah, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Nhyieaso Constituency in the Ashanti Region, noted that “most of our challenges as a country comes to this point of how our fiscal space is managed by government”.
“Here in Ghana, we have been experiencing ‘negative effective tax rates’. It doesn’t matter who is in government. Prior to the Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine war, all revenues generated by government has always been less than how much it has spent. Government always spends more than it earns. But the constitution has made provisions such that governments are forced to spend only within a certain means.”
Citing the issue of taxes and waivers, the lawmaker stressed that “if not for the constitution, successive governments would have abused tax privileges”, and added that the constitution “has put a check on all activities of those in authority in that government cannot wake up and impose taxes.”
According to Dr. Amoah, “this common saying that the private sector is the engine of growth has proven to be true in all modern economies. There is a global shift from socialism to capitalism and this has been successful as a result of the supporting constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
He also added that the constitution has ensured the socioeconomic freedoms of all citizens in that it makes provisions for every person to “work under satisfactory, safe and healthy conditions and to receive equal pay for equal work without distinction of any kind”.
This, he opined, would have been worse, especially considering the kind of political culture we experience in Ghana.
“The Constitution has helped us as a country to properly manage our funds. It has provided everything we need as a country and has also contributed immensely towards building this beautiful country of ours”, he concluded.