General News of Wednesday, 11 March 2015
President Mahama has sent the strongest indications yet that his government will not be coerced into over spending in 2016 by the weight of demands and strikes of workers.
He reveals how the various demonstrations against his government have in a way toughened his government against such actions.
He was speaking to the Ghanaian community in Botswana during his 3-day state visit.
He assured that government will maintain fiscal discipline, explaining that his resolve is hinged on the implications on the economy.
He told the Ghanaian community in Botswana that “often what has happened is that in election years trade unions and everybody sees that government is in a vulnerable place and so that is where demonstrations and agitations for increased pay begin to happen.”
This he explained happens “because of the sensitivity of the period and the fear of losing elections, government normally will give in to some of these pressures and before you see the budget is out of sync and then when elections are over and then government is installed, you have to start the belt tightening all over again.”
President Mahama indicated that, he had the opportunity to experience so many demonstration exercises and strike actions within his two years in office, “so I don’t think it can get worse in the second two years. It is said that when you kill a goat and you frighten it with a knife it doesn’t fear the knife because it is dead already. I have the dead goat syndrome going forward. So we are going to ensure that we have fiscal discipline.”
Many people including the former presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum, blamed the current economic crisis facing the country on governments overspending during the 2012 election.