Ghanaians must get ready for ‘a rough 2017’ because President John Mahama and his government will overspend next year to retain power, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom has warned.
According to the 2012 presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), excessive spending during an election year is characteristic of Ghanaian governments and will not change next year.
However, President Mahama has assured his administration will live within it means and will manage expenses, despite 2016 being an election year.
Dr Nduom doubts Mahama’s assertion, saying ‘based on what I saw in Talensi, the Mahama Administration is on course to repeat the excessive spending in election year 2016 and bring back problems for all of us and whoever wins the election.’
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Dr Nduom said: ‘I am not here to play a numbers game. But budget deficits matter. Many countries suffer this problem so it is the ability of government to manage the situation so the people do not suffer that is important.
‘Particularly key in this is the problem being solved – where the deficit came from. Ghana’s budget deficit in 2014 was reportedly more than 9.6% of the GDP. This is why the IMF has made a deal with government that includes removing subsidies on fuel, water, electricity etc. to reduce the deficit from 2015 going forward. But we seem to forget one thing.’
‘Budget deficits have been experienced consistently every four years i.e. after every election. I am not referring to planned deficits. My point is that election year spending by governments in the Fourth Republic has put our economy at risk and collapsed many businesses.
‘…I want to be wrong on this. But if you are a business person, I suggest to you to start right now and brace yourself for a rough 2017,’ the businessman forewarned.
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