Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta says government won’t overspend for elections

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has assured Ghanaians that the government will not overspend its budget in 2020 despite the upcoming general elections.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

This is not the first time a government is promising not to overspend in an election year. However successive governments have not been able to abide by this promise. Previous governments have been criticised for overspending during election years.

But Mr Ofori-Atta said the government will be cautious of its expenditure despite the elections.

“2020 is an election year. I will like to take this opportunity to inform this August House on behalf of the President that all the needed resources required shall be marshalled for the Electoral Commission to ensure that we have a free credible and fair election. Ghana remains one of the most peaceful elections in the world and we intend to maintain it.”

According to him, 2019 has been a good year for Ghana because the good works of the government have started manifesting.

“This is the year that one can confidently say that God’s blessings of the hard work is beginning to manifest, putting us on a positive trajectory for sustained lift,” Mr Ofori-Atta said when he presented the 2020 Budget to Parliament.

“I say so because we have won some painful but necessary battles for God and country. We have stabilised the microeconomic turbulence that was all too regular a feature in the management of the national economy. We have delivered on our flagship programme. The Gains made so far are significant and it is indeed to the glory of God,” he added.

He added that the inflation rate has fallen from 15.4% in December 2016 to 7.6% in September 2019, the lowest since March 1992.

“The fiscal deficit has declined from 6.5% of GDP in 2016 to 4.5 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2019; On the external front, the trade deficit has improved from US$1.8 billion in 2016 to a surplus of US$2.6 billion in August 2019,” he told the Parliamentarians.

Government programs have put GHC12b in pockets of Ghanaians

The Minister said the government has directly or indirectly put an amount of GHC12.2 billion into the pockets of some Ghanaians through its major initiatives and social interventions.

“Planting for food and Jobs has saved farmers a total of GHC844 million over the last three years for subsidized fertilizer and a total of GHC357 million have been put in the pockets of teacher trainees within the last three years in the form of allowance.”

He added that nursing trainees have received a total of GHC336million in the form of allowance within the last three years. The government continues to subsidize for the BECE registration fee which has saved parents a total of GHC65 million for the past two years.

“The over 350,000 jobs that have been created in the public sector including the 100,000 NABCO graduates has provided total earnings to them of 2.9billion cedis and that is money in their pockets” he added.

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