A Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has bemoaned the deteriorated state of Ghana’s economy which he says has led to extreme suffering among the Ghanaian populace.
According to him, the current deplorable state of the economy, which he noted is the worst in recent memory, is a result of mismanagement by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government and not the Covid-19 pandemic as some had been misled to believe.
Speaking on Monday at an NDC Ranking Members forum dubbed “Policy Dialogue on the Economy” at the UPSA Auditorium in Accra, the Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam disclosed that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government’s unrestrained borrowing as well as the budget deficit is responsible for this.
“The main causes of the current hardships are the twin problems of the largest budget deficit (15.2%) in recent history and a choking debt overhang that threatens the stability of the Ghanaian economy” he stated adding that “…the hardships arising out of the deficit and debt situation is the direct result of mismanagement of the economy and misplaced populism by this government.”
He cautioned that if government did not put the brakes on the current situation, the country will experience a decline in capital expenditure even as it spends more on interest servicing. He added that wages of public sector workers may not be increased and government will rather increase taxes, a situation he anticipated will be captured in the upcoming mid-year budget review.
As part of his recommendations, Dr. Ato Forson maintained that the next 18 months will be crucial for Ghana, and therefore urged that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government “must be bold to tell the Ghanaian Public the truth that the economy has been driven into a ditch and will require urgent fiscal measures to pull out of the ditch.”
He warned that failure by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to do as recommended, within the next 18 months, would expose Ghana to a High Risk of Default on its debt service obligations which will plunge the country into much deeper economic crisis.
The data-based engagement brought together representatives from civil society, the media, academia, professional groups among others as part of the dialogue on the economy and government policies.