Mr Speaker, I would add that I was on the economic management team when the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank led a group -- the briefs are there -- to say that three or four banks were almost virtually collapsing, and it is arising out of this debt.
So, I am just saying that we should not just free resources to please a political group. Mr Speaker, to borrow the words of former President Jerry John Rawlings, one cannot have an omelette without breaking an egg. This is the egg that we broke because we wanted an omelette. As they reduce this, they are not going to service the energy debt.
Mr Speaker, even more worrying is VRA's capacity to buy crude, as we do not have gas. Part of this money was used, and I am aware -- as I said, I was part of the negotiations with organised labour. Why we have not even been able to reduce the legacy debt was to transfer it to support VRA to be able to buy crude, and we are now saying that we are reducing it. Mr Speaker, that is problematic.
Mr Speaker, finally, on transposition of rates, I refer to the Budget Statement, page 136, paragraph 796. After we have approved the Budget Statement and Appropriation, the Committee is coming here to do correction of transposition of rates.
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I quote at page 4 of the Commitee's Report, under Transposition of Rates.
“The Committee observed that in the Budget Statement the reduction in the rates had been inadvertently stated as 3 per cent …”
It is no wonder that they are in a hurry. So, in that hurry, they could do this, and now just use the Committee's Report to correct what is in the Budget Statement.
Mr Speaker, I support this, as I have said, because 1 have been part of the processes where organised labour, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) all protested strongly. Indeed, we almost averted a national strike action arising out of this because it chiseled and ate into incomes.
However, Mr Speaker, when they go and reduce petroleum Value Added Tax (VAT) from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent, we would lose GH¢254 million or more, and when they reduce these rates, fiscally, we would lose GH¢308.30 million.
Mr Speaker, counting with my poor arithmetic background, which is not as rich as that of the Hon Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, this Government has caused a GH¢l billion havoc to the fiscal regime of this country in the reductions they have made. [Interruption.] Yes, it is havoc.