2015 budget is hopeless — Minority

The Minority in Parliament has described the 2015 budget statement as a “hopeless” one that will not guarantee Ghana’s economic transformation.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday on the general economic situation in Ghana, Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said the 2015 budget statement will not in any way transform the economy of Ghana as being touted.

He argued that the constitution mandates the president to ensure fair remuneration, boost private sector, enhance development and promote robust agricultural development but the 2015 budget failed to address it saying “that is why it [budget] should count as meaningless to the ordinary Ghanaian. At the end of the day if the fundamental problem of the economy is not dealt with the threat to macroeconomic stability of the country going, forward   will not abate.”

The Minority Leader also expressed worry at the increasing spate of borrowing by government insisting that if care is not taken, President John Mahama’s administration will lead the country into an abyss.

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He observed that the stock of public debt has risen dramatically to GH¢70 billion representing 60.8% of GDP as at September 2014 adding that “this is an increase in the debt stock by GH¢60.5 billion… This also represent an increase in the debt stock by 636% over a six year period, an average increase in the debt stock by 106.14% every year under the NDC regime.”

“Ghana is clearly on the way back to the unsustainable debt level that pushed the country to HIPC. If the current borrowing binge  continuous it will only be a matter of time before the international rating agencies will classify Ghana as a country with high risk of debt distress,” he noted.

According to Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, “The consequences of this classification would compromise Ghana’s ability to raise further financing from the international capital market and worst still disable the country from servicing and paying our debts.”

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Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance during his presentation of the budget statement to Parliament in November 2014 described it as one that will turn Ghana’s fortunes around.