IEA chides Parliament over lack of expertise to scrutinise budget

  Wed, 12 Jun 2024
Parliament IEA chides Parliament over lack of expertise to scrutinise budget

Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has criticised Parliament for its failure to adequately scrutinise the budget over the years.

This lack of scrutiny according to IEA has led to deficiencies and allowed corrupt practices to persist in fiscal policy. The IEA has also identified the absence of a robust analytical framework as a significant shortcoming in fiscal policy.

Addressing journalists in Accra, the Senior Economist at IEA, Dr John Kwakye expressed concern over Parliament's lack of time and necessary expertise to perform a comprehensive and effective analysis of the budget.

He also reprimanded Parliament for its failure to enforce the Appropriations Bill, which approves annual Government spending. This failure has allowed budget overruns to occur “incessantly and with impunity”.

“Another major lapse in fiscal policy has to do with the lack of a strong analytical framework and an effective monitoring and oversight mechanism. Fiscal policy appears to be formulated more or less on an ad-hoc basis unsupported by a well-grounded framework tailored to safeguarding macroeconomic stability and fiscal and debt sustainability.

“Further, Parliament seems to lack the time and requisite expertise to conduct a thorough and effective analysis and oversight of the budget, thereby allowing deficiencies, inefficiencies and, often, corrupt practices, to prevail. Indeed, Parliament even often fails to enforce its own Appropriations Bill that approve annual Government spending, allowing overruns to occur incessantly and with impunity.”

The IEA has advocated for the reintroduction of fiscal rules to enable the country to establish fiscal responsibility independently, thereby avoiding a return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The need to return to fiscal rules has become urgent so that we can entrench fiscal responsibility on our own and, thereby avoid returning to the IMF yet again—at least not in the foreseeable future, as we cannot say, never,” IEA said.

The IEA has reiterated its call for the establishment of a Fiscal Council (FC), composed of independent experts.


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