A Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, says the 2023 budget will subject Ghanaians to extreme austerity, as compared to the current hardships they are faced with.

He encouraged Ghanaians to brace up for maximum and excruciating hardships in 2023, predicting that Ghanaians will go through worse hardships than what occurred in 1979 and 1983.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday, November 24, 2022, presented the government’s 2023 budget in Parliament.

Reacting to the budget, an incensed legislator for the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency in the Central region, said the 2023 budget failed to give hope to Ghanaians in the face of the country’s economic woes.

“This budget is going to be a severe budget that is going to introduce extreme austerity in the year 2023. I can only urge Ghanaians to brace up for maximum hardships. It’s going to be excruciating, worse than what we went through in 1979 and 1983,” Dr. Ato Forson said on Eyewitness News.

The 2023 budget statement indicated that government in 2023 will not employ new staff in the public sector.

“A hiring freeze for civil and public servants. No new government agencies shall be established in 2023,” Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced in the 2023 budget.

Mr. Forson on Eyewitness News said, “to the youth of the country, there’s now a freeze of employment, no hope for you, nothing more for you, to the ordinary trader, taxes are going to go up. The people of Ghana should be ready that the prices of goods and services are going to be high because of increase in VAT introduced”.

The Finance Minister stated in the budget statement that, “Ours is a country with real prospects and the challenges notwithstanding, Ghana will rise again, and my faith is premised on the fact that a lot has already been achieved, especially over the course of the Fourth Republic and our policy, as outlined in this budget to reset the economy, if supported will ensure that, indeed, we have not wasted the current global crisis but used it to make our economy stronger and the progress and prosperity of our people even more assured.”