Government has been criticised for sacrificing the livelihood of Ghanaians in order to impress the supervisors of the economy, the International Monetary Fund.
The main opposition NDC represented by a member of its Economic and Finance team, Isaac Adongo said government has tried to bridge the gap between expenditure and revenue by cutting down on spending.
In essence, government has been saving money to reduce its deficit as part of conditionalities set by the IMF.
But in doing so, the NPP government has “continuously starved the people of Ghana”. He said holding on to money has not only brought hardship but has resulted in delayed investment in infrastructure.
It has postponed the rate at which Ghana can join the elite countries of the world, he complained.
The NDC economic lecture has been billed as the opposition’s response to the government’s Town Hall Meeting addressed by Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The Vice-President pointed to “efficiency in expenditure management” which had seen the gap between expenditure and revenue - fiscal deficit – of 6.8% (rebased GDP) in 2016 reduced to about 3.8%.
“For the first time in a decade…our tax revenues exceeded all government spending –excluding debt service for two years in a row”, the Vice-President said.
Adongo, however, maintained while there have been efforts to align expenditure with revenue, the IMF is not impressed.
He said the method used to achieve this has been “crude”. The IMF, he said, has expressed disappointment in what he said was government’s low revenue generation figures.
Isaac Adongo suggested a better way to bridge the fiscal deficit would have been to mobilise more revenue instead of holding on to expenditure in a country where government spending has ripple effects on businesses and jobs.