Hon Isaac Adongo, Member of Parliament for the Bolgatanga Central Constituency, has joint members of the opposition party and chided the 2019 Budget statement presented to parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Thursday morning November 15.
Speaking to THE REPUBLIC after the reading, the Bolgatana Central lawmaker said the statement was a mere compilation of lengthy and boring grammar intended to cover up the crux of the issues as they are on the ground.
“You saw that we were sleeping at some point, it was too much sweet English, we can’ t rule this country with this kind of economic gimmicks. The budget was empty, no solution to the economic hardship Ghanaians are going through under this supper incompetent government,” he said.
Mr Adongo, who is a member on the Finance Committee of Parliament further described the 2019 budget as “hollow” arguing that it was just “high on English but little in substance” and did not give solution to the suffering masses
In his view, the budget did not give any hope and that Ghanaians should expect more hardship in the remaining year of the New Patriotic Party government.
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, told parliament government has targeted to grow the economy by 7.6 percent in 2019, achieve single-digit inflation of 8 percent, fiscal deficit of 4.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and primary surplus of 1.2 percent of GDP.
But again, Mr Adongo, said he was not impressed and that the budget statement was full of public relations gimmick.
He contended that the government’s decision to borrow about GH¢14.6 billion, out of which GH¢8.5 billion would be going into infrastructure and the rest of GH¢6.1billion consumption remained a problematic and wondered how Ghanaians would benefit from the borrowing when everything goes to consumption.
The Minority MP who have been vocal on national issues regarding finance, further questioned the motive of government for allocating such colossal amount of money into consumption instead of channelling the funds into production to generate interest on investment.
in his considered opinion, What the government meant with such policies was that “we are borrowing to pay salaries and goods”.
In reaction, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Kweku Kwarteng, said the claims by the Bolatanga Central MP were contrary to what Ghanaians feels under the current government.
In his view, “A lot of the things that Mr Adongo just said are untrue and it is because he has not read the budget. If he had read he would not be saying these things.”
The Deputy Minister pointed that, the allocation to capital expenditure in the budget was GH¢12.8 billion and not the GH¢8.5 billion claimed by Mr Adongo.
He said what the NPP government inherited was an economy that had been sent to the International Monetary Fund to obtain policy credibility for bailout.
The Obuasi West lawmaker said the NPP government led by President Akufo Addo had managed to put the mismanaged economy they inherited back on track and that the country would be soon wean itself off from the IMF programme possibly end of 2018.
He however assured that the government would continue with its social intervention programmes as well as find a lasting solution to the banking crisis, emphasizing that the government would stick to its policies on macro-economic stabilization to consolidate the gains made so far.