Former Deputy Finance Minister says the 2019 budget statement is heavy on numbers and sloganeering but out of touch with reality.
According to Fifi Kwetey the “high sounding promises” in the budget do not seem to resonate with the ordinary Ghanaians and businesses across the country.
“The talking is the easier part always. You have heard quite a lot of plans in 2017 and 2018 but the reality as evidenced by the ordinary Ghanaian and businesses is totally different,” he said.
“The slogans are easy to make but the reality is totally different,” he said.
He was speaking to Joy FM’s Kojo Yankson minutes after the Finance Minister had presented the 2019 budget statement.
The budget which was on the theme “Putting Ghana Back to Work” promises to concentrate on heavy infrastructure projects.
According to the Minister, the government has over the last 22 months managed a rather debilitating economy it inherited and has put it on the right track.
Comparing the macro-economic indicators, Ken Ofori Atta said government inherited an inflation rate of 15.4% in 2016 but in 2018 September there is single digit inflation at 9.8%.
Fiscal deficit stood at 9.3% in 2016 but has reduced drastically to 2.8%. On the debt to GDP ratio the Minister government inherited a 73.1% which has since reduced to 67.3% with the economy growing at 5.4% in 2018 up from the 3.4% it grew in 2016.
With these strides, he said the country was not going back to Egypt again in apparent reference to biblical Egypt, a place of hardship and difficulty for the Israelites.
In the 2019 financial year, he said government will concentrate heavily on implementing its major policies including the One District One Factory programme, planting for food and jobs and also rearing for food and jobs.
These promises notwithstanding, Fifi Kwetey said the government must move away from its obsession with numbers.
According to him, in less than two years, the government has added ¢50billion to the debt stock with the debt rising from ¢120billion to ¢170billion but has nothing to show for it.
Shortly before the budget was read, the Minority raised alarm about a possible increase in taxes which never happened.
When the former Deputy Minister was confronted, he said but for the alarm raised by the Minority, the government would have gone ahead to increase taxes or imposed new ones.