General News Politics

‘Dangerous! Debt exchange program could wipe out middle class’ – Majority Leader

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Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu warns that involving bondholders without further consultations could wipe out the middle class and will spell doom for the country.

“What we talking about is that many of these bondholders also belong to the middle class and that’s where the major worry is.

“If we are wiping away the middle class that could be dangerous, so we need to have some further dialogue on this. I’m not sure government takes interest and joy in suppressing anyone no government will have any joy in doing that.

“So government thinks that this is the best way forward, however even if it is, we need to engage, reflect and then move on and that will encourage some people who have some doubt to better appreciate where we are.”

This was his response to a group of individual bondholders led by convener, Senyo Hosi and private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu when they presented a petition to him and the ranking member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson in Parliament House on Friday, to convey their grievances to the Executive.

Major stakeholders including economists have urged government to halt the plan and exempt them from signing on to the restructuring deal which expires on Monday.

But government says the aim of the program is to make the nation’s debts sustainable as a key component of securing an IMF deal.

Ranking on the Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson disagrees that government must proceed with individual bondholders.

In the meeting with the individual bondholders, he called on the Finance Minister to immediately halt their inclusion for further consultations.

In the interim, bondholders wait with bated breath on the next step government will take.

But in all this, the Majority Leader fears progressing without caution would not only terminate the middle class but destroy the savings culture of the citizenry which has taken decades of painstaking work to build.

“Nothing can substitute for discussions, round table discussions and engagements wherever we find ourselves in. I think it’s important that we go back to the drawing table to have engagements with the major stakeholders.

“As he said, all of us are in it. And if we don’t manage well, we’ve gone through this before, way back some 25, 30 years ago and repositioning was a major, major difficulty.

“Today many people are coming on board and if this thing should happen, how do we build confidence and trust and reconstruct a new savings culture?” he said.

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