Minority in Ghana’s Parliament threatens vote of no confidence against Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

The minority in Ghana’s Parliament has threatened to begin the process of a vote of no confidence against Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, over what it says are high fiscal deficit figures.

Parliament of Ghana

The minority which is currently made up of only members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) alleged that Mr Ofori-Atta is deliberately manipulating the government’s spending figures to stay within the accepted limit.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act indicates that a Finance Minister should not superintend a fiscal deficit of over 5% lest he is censored.

The Minority spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, told Accra-based Joy FM that Mr Ofori-Atta is manipulating the figures to avoid censorship.

He added that the Minority MPs will reject the figures the Finance Minister will present when he presents the 2020 budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday.

“He should prepare because he has already exceeded that 5%,” adding they will invoke the law to boot him out of office.

The claims of the minority

The former Deputy Finance Minister said the Akufo-Addo-led government has decided not to treat the monies used in the banking sector clean up as expenditure has decided to treat monies gained from it as revenue.

He added that the government must show consistency in dealing with monies spent and gained from the clean-up. He said failure to do this will only lead to manipulation of figures “just to look good.”

The Minority also claimed that the government has asked mining companies in Ghana to undertake some development projects in their resident communities. The government of Ghana would pay back these monies to the mining companies in issued bonds.

However, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemana Konney has denied this allegation. He said that even though there have been talks they have not reached any decision and no official proposal has come to them.

But the Minority MPs are not convinced. They argue that the government is using the mining companies to raise revenue without recording it in their expenditure.

Mr Ato Forson said when this goes on the expenditure looks good but the country’s debt increases on the blindside, Ato Forson explained.

He added that the minority will fight the Minister’s attempts adding that unless he meets their demands -- to classify the fiscal deficit properly, they would move to impeach him.

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