2019 budget will present ‘Ghana beyond hell; hopelessness’ – Ato Forson

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He  says the yet-to-be presented 2019 budget statement and economic policy will be full of hopelessness.

Ato Forson said because the various budgets presented by the Akufo-Addo government since it assumed office have brought nothing good but only hardships to Ghanaians, the expected budget will only be hell for many Ghanaians.

Ato Forson, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency in the Central Region, said the 2019 budget will turn President Akufo-Addo’s ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ mantra, to “Ghana beyond hell.”

“We say Ghana beyond hell because in the year 2017, the budget was named ‘asempa’ budget, meaning good news. But at the end, what did we see? We saw ‘asembone’ budget meaning bad news. In the year 2018, the budget was named ‘adwuma’ budget, meaning we were going to expect more employment, but what are we witnessing now? We are witnessing job losses, layoffs and no jobs. President Akufo-Addo announced that the 2019 budget will be full of hope. But judging from the outcome of the 2017 and 2018 budget and economic policy statement, what should we expect in the 2019 budget? Hopelessness,” he added.

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Ato Forson made the claims at a pre-budget round-table discussion organized by the Minority in Parliament.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, is expected in Parliament on Thursday to present the 2019 budget statement.

Gov’t to bloat public debt stock to GHc16 billion

Ahead of the budget presentation, Ato Forson lashed out at the Akufo-Addo government over the increasing public debt stock.

According to him, government will bloat the debt stock by GHc16 billion in 2019.

The public debt stock as at August 2018, stood at GHc159.4 billion, up from GH¢122 billion some two years ago.

According to the Minority, government’s appetite for borrowing has been compounded by the need for them to raise capital not for infrastructure, but consumption.

“In the year 2019, they [NPP government] will add about 16 billion to our debt. This will take our total public debt to about 186 billion by close of year 2019. The Akufo-Addo government appears to have pumped a large chunk of its money into consumption as there is virtually no capital investment to show for his level of borrowing,” he said.

Ato Forson insisted that “the foregoing shows clearly that the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Vice President misled Ghanaians with their claims on borrowing while in opposition, instead they have resorted to the very thing they condemned just two years ago. Where is the president’s ability to develop Ghana without taxation and borrowing which he touted so much in opposition?”?

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey

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