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31 July 2017

Asempa Budget Now Asembↄne Budget – Ato Forson

A former Deputy Minister of Finance, Casiel Ato Forson has ridiculed the government’s mid year budget review, saying it failed to live up to expectation.

Speaking a few minutes after Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta’s presentation in Parliament, Mr. Forson said government has failed to achieve its revenue targets.

“Government has failed to achieve its revenue targets. We are cutting down on the budget for goods and services by GhC 600 million. We are paying people but they don’t have the resources to work with. The budget is being revised from Asempa budget to Asembↄne budget.

“The expectation was that from q1 to q2 the outturn will be 2.7 billion but the outturn is 2.1 billion which is another cut. What this means is that there is a shortfall of almost 600 million. Put the two together. Tax revenue and non tax revenue. The shortfall so far is GHC 2. 7 billion,” Ato Forson said.

He believes the Finance Minister only presented “cosmetic figures” in Parliament to hoodwink Ghanaians.

“The numbers that we are seeing here are cosmetic. Government is accumulating arrears and failing to pay contractors. This is artificially compressed.”

Hasten slowly – Fiifi Kwetey

Member of Parliament for Keta South, Fiifi Kwetey also raised issues with the Minister ‘s presentation, saying it was necessary for Mr. Ken Ofori Atta to hasten slowly.

“Let me congratulate him and also tell him to hasten slowly. When he reaches the moment where inflation has gone down into single digit he can come for some boasting. When he reaches a moment where he is able to build the economy of Ghana to at least 14 percent he can come for some praises. When he is able to reach a moment when he is able to take treasury bills to below 10 % to about 9 % he can come for some praises but until then it is important for the Minister of Finance to hasten slowly because he has not achieved much.”

Mr. Kwetey also disagreed with the Minister’s assertion that the NPP government inherited a very weak economy. saying ” If someone met 8 percent inflation in 2009 and you are meeting inflation that is 15.4 declining downwards you obviously know that you are inheriting a much better economy than what someone inherited before you…”

He indicated that government was staggering in fulfilling major promises made during the election.

“The major things you [NPP] promised Ghana, nothing has been heard so far.You talk about free SHS and as at now you are literally running away from the very thing you spoke about.”

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