Debate On 2020 Budget Statement and Financial Policy Begins in Parliament


There was heated argument between the Majority New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) as Parliament begins debate on the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the 2020 financial year.


The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday presented the 2020 Budget Statement and highlights to Parliament detailing government programmes and policies for year.


Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament Hon. Mark Assibey Yeboah who moved the motion to set the debate rolling, disclosed that when the NPP took over the administration of government, they were forced to extend the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme started by the previous NDC government, because they have disconcerted from the programme and missed all targets they agreed with the Fund.


The Finance Committee Chairman who also doubles as New Juaben South MP said after thirty three months of the NPP administration, all the macroeconomic indicators have improved significantly, which shows a positive outlook for the country culminating in Ghana exiting the IMF programme by the end of 2018 and postulated the government is determined not to go back to the programmes.


The New Juaben South MP posited that the NPP is delivering on its manifesto promise to provide a competent administration for the people which culminates to the elimination of the hitherto Unemployed Graduates Association which he said is now defunct and dead forever and has been replaced with the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO).


Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah reiterated that every single macroeconomic indicator has improved since January 2017 and as result of the now buoyant economy, the Bank of Ghana was working hard to clear all the mess in the country’s financial sector to ensure a sound banking system for the country.


Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, Ranking Member on the Finance Committee in his contribution, indicated that the NPP has plunged the country into total economic mess through excessive over borrowing yet there are no visible projects shown on what the money was used for and that the economy is a result suffering from kwashiorkor.


The former Deputy Minister in the previous administration believed he did not see any hope for the 2020 Budget Statement and Financial Policy which would also end up like the previous ones without achieving anything.


Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah refuted the claim by Minority MPs that figures presented by the government about the economy over the past three years including figures during his 2020 budget presentation to the legislators on Wednesday, November 13 are falsified and cooked


The Ofoase Ayirebi MP disclosed that the IMF, Economic Intelligence Unit, (EIU) Standard and Ports and all Economists across the globe say the figures are true except the NDC and questioned the readiness of the Minority NDC as an alternate government if they could sit aloof for government to deceive them with cooked figures for the past three years.


He established that if all the figures the NPP-led government has given for the past years are untrue and the NDC now made calculations three years down the line to ascertain the falsity in the figures being presented by the government then there is a problem with the Economics and Mathematics they did.


The Information Minister stressed that government’s financial policy is not focussed on the parochial political interest of the ruling NPP government and appointees but rather on mother Ghana as a whole and called on Members to approach the debate with a nationalistic zeal for the sake of mother Ghana but not for their own selfish interests.


Hon. Oppong Nkrumah concluded that Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition has a history of clarity in government and emphasized that resources will be made available to continue with government flagship programmes to engineer growth and jobs across various economic sectors to ensure that more opportunities are created for the Ghanaian people.


MP for Ketu South and Member of the Finance Committee of Hon. Fiifi Kwetey in his contribution expressed his disappointment in the 2020 Economic Policy and Budget Statement because the NPP government has not done well with the unprecedented resources available to it.


The former Deputy Finance Minister said the government had not done much to provide the infrastructure Ghanaians needed and that the government’s claim that it had reduced taxes was not true as it was taking more taxes from the utilities.


The Ketu South lawmaker disclosed that when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was in government it spent a minimum of 4.5 per cent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on capital expenditure which are things that brought economic growth and transformation while the current administration had failed to even meet the two per cent of GDP requirement for capital expenditure.


Hon. Fiifi Kwetey who lamented that the failure of the NPP government to invest in capital and social infrastructure had led to roads increasingly becoming deplorable also spoke of the administration’s underperformance in terms of revenue mobilization, adding that, it was bereft of any new ideas to increase revenue for the state. 


Debate on the 2020 Budget Statement and Financial Policy continues on Tuesday, November 19, 2020.