Debt exchange programme could wipe out middle class
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has cautioned the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, that involving individual bondholders in the Domestic Debt Exchange programme could wipe out the middle class and negatively affect the savings culture of Ghanaians.
Speaking with a group of individual bondholders led by convener, Senyo Hosi and private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu after a petition to exclude individual bondholders from the debt exchange was presented to him on Friday, the Suame MP called on the Finance Minister to properly engage with major stakeholders.
“What we [are] 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.
“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.”
“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…All of us are in it. And if we don’t manage it 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?”
The New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, on Saturday, January 14, also called on Ken Ofori-Atta to as a matter of urgency review his decision on the inclusion of individual bondholders in the domestic debt exchange programme.
In a tweet, the Majority Chip Whip described the decision by Ken Ofori-Atta as “unfair” and “untenable” adding that he disagrees with the inclusion of individual bondholders in the debt exchange programme.
The Ghana Individual Bondholder’s Forum on Friday petitioned the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta to exclude its members from the government’s domestic debt exchange programme.
The forum is one of the groups vehemently kicking against the government’s decision to give individual bondholders a haircut under the debt restructuring initiative.
The forum which consists of persons holding investments in the Government of Ghana’s Local Cedi Bonds, the Government of Ghana’s Local USD Bonds, ESLA PLC Bonds, Daakye Bonds, Ghana Eurobonds, and Collective investment schemes with investments in the above securities said the announcement of the programme “has been extremely unsettling and catastrophic for our membership” and demand that they be excluded.