IMF bailout: Ghana in for harsher times- Akoto Osei

Brace up for harsher economic times following government’s decision to go for IMF bailout, Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei has warned.

“We are in for tough times,” he insisted, adding, “in the short term there will be difficulty.”

President John Mahama, over the weekend, announced government’s decision to opt for IMF’s interventions following months of dire economic challenges facing the country.

Ghana’s budget deficit is beyond sustainable limits; the currency is depreciating at a faster rate than was expected; there has been hikes in food and fuel prices; hikes in utility tariffs, taxes have imposed on a number of products and services.

All these have affected the cost of living in the country with organised labour embarking on an an unprecedented nationwide demonstration to register their indignation about the economic situation in the country.

Government is turning to the IMF for support as it hopes to turn the economic fortunes of the country around.

That decision has been met with mixed reactions; critics, including presidential flagbearer aspirant of the NPP, have kicked against the decision whilst others have hailed it as a temporary measure to resuscitate the country’s economy.

Speaking to Joy News, Anthony Akoto Osei commended government for the decision but said there will be repercussions.

He said utility prices will go up as a result, adding the government will be asked to cut down on its excessive expenditure.

He said between now and 2017 when the IMF intervention will be in place, there will be tougher times.

Meanwhile, organised labour is getting ready for retrenchment of some public sector workers as part of the IMF conditionality.

General Secretary of the ICU Solomon Kotei told Joy News it is within the right of government and other employers to retrench workers but said it must be done in the right way.

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