Former Deputy Minister for Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, four years ago opined that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) would not meet its budgetary target for the next year (2018).
Cassiel Ato Forson, reacting to the Finance Minister’s presentation in parliament said, “If you look at the budget carefully, you will see it’s empty. The promises are empty and are not supported by the numbers on the fiscal table. Ghanaians will end the year 2018 without seeing anything tangible.”
Former Deputy Finance Minister and Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Besease, Cassiel Ato Forson has taken a swipe at the 2018 budget presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on November 15, 2017.
The minority spokesperson on Finance who described the budget as an empty promise, asserted that figures mentioned by the Finance Minister do not correspond with the reality on the ground.
“If you look at the budget carefully you will see it’s empty. The promises are empty and are not supported by the numbers on the fiscal table. Ghanaians will end the year 2018 without seeing anything tangible.”
Cassiel Ato Forson also questioned the Minister’s decision to extend the National Fiscal Stabilization and Special Import levy that was enacted in 2013 as temporary tax to avert the economic woes at the time.
The Minister of Finance said they have turned around the economy, granted that they have turned around the economy, why then are they extending the National Fiscal Stabilization and Special Import levy, the temporary taxes that was enacted the in 2013 to deal with the problems the economy was facing at the time?”
Mr. Forson added that the debt-to-GDP ratio is approximately 73.6 per cent but when the Energy Bond and the UT/Capital banks bond is added, the debt-to-GDP ratio will shoot up to 76.8 per cent.
He said the boasting by the government to achieve 5.9 per cent GDP growth in 2017 and 8.9 per cent in 2018 could be misleading.
That, he said, was because the projected non-oil GDP growth of four per cent in 2017 was lower than the realised non-oil GDP growth of 4.8 per cent in 2016, while the projected non-oil GDP growth of 5 per cent in 2018 was only 0.2 per cent higher than the realised non-oil GDP growth in 2016.