Barely 48hrs to the presentation of the 2019 Budget to parliament, the NDC Minority caucus is predicting that the yet-to-be read Budget only portends hopelessness for Ghanaians.
“Our analysis show that Ghanaians are in for a tough time in the year 2019. There is no indication that there will be a change in government’s policy direction, we therefore cannot agree with his Excellency the president on the claim of hope in the 2019 budget,” Minority spokesperson on finance, Casiel Ato Forson said at a pre-budget round table discussion on Tuesday November, 13, 2018.
Highlighting on the stark hardships of the 2019 budget, Mr Ato Forson said:” Ghanaians should expect the following, we expect new taxes to deal with the financial sector mess they have created with their populist policies…we expect the prevailing hardship to persist and may even get worse. The worsening unemployment situation will continue, more debts accumulation…an upsurge in government expenditure and populists policies and we expect the issuance of a century bond which is over and above the absorption capacity of the economy.”
In addition to this, the NDC MPs are also projecting an additional GHs16 billion to Ghana’s mountain of debts saying the Akufo-Addo-led administration has failed to live up to its promise not to engage in reckless borrowing.
The comments come as the Finance Minister prepares to deliver the 2019 Budget on Thursday.
Kasapafmonline.com understands the Budget will be heavy on programs that will prop up government’s industrialization drive and infrastructure projects in the country.
The IMF says the 2019 budget would need to address persistent revenue shortfalls and start tackling decisively the issue of exemptions.
The 2019 Budget Statement and Economy Policy is key as the IMF bail out programme will end in April 2019, from an initial deadline of April 2018, after the NPP government agreed to an extension of the program.
Meanwhile, according to the Fund, Ghana’s growth prospects remain strong, supported by robust oil and cocoa production.