Director of Operations at Dalex Finance, Joe Jackson, has expressed his disappointment with the manner in which the government responded to delays in the passage of some fiscal policies.
According to him, it is truly challenging to make some reviews of government expenditure but there were other parts that the government could have cut to at least deal with the weakening cedi and other associated issues.
“When it couldn’t get passed, I thought the mid-year review would not only cut the discretionary expenditure – and I’d agree that some of the key parts of the expenditure are difficult to cut; issues to do with servicing your debt, issues to do with wages and salaries, they’re tough.
“But I also felt that there were some secret cows that we should have put on the table and reviewed to indicate to the market that we were serious and ready to address our issues and I say that we lost an opportunity,” Joe Jackson said.
“We lost an opportunity at the mid-year review. In a sense, where we are today is not surprising because really even given our constraints, we still could have done more,” he said in a JoyBusiness interview.
Joe Jackson said the current economic challenges the economy faces have been one of the most challenging times for the country since 1981.
He acknowledged that the economic crisis in the country is obviously not an easy one while adding government’s financial instruments have witnessed astronomical hikes which have sent the wrong signal to the investor community.
“The government Treasury bill, 91 days Treasury bill was 12.5% per annum in January, now it is almost 28. That’s what? 200% + increase. What does that do to your planning? What does that do to your budgeting? What does that do to an institution that has given out fixed-rate loans? And what does that do to the issue of raising deposits?
“Because people have now lost confidence in the cedi due to the depreciation we face this year, so people are saying I want to move my money out into dollars, and prices have gone up for everything. So, it’s a tough environment for everybody, let no one be deceived, it’s a tough environment.
He said “I think that the numbers speak for themselves. Inflation at 31, the cedi has depreciated in the forex bureaus over 9.5, our foreign reserves at a historic low, the downgrade of our sovereign debt and you could go on and on. So, I don’t think there’s any dispute as to how difficult these times are …these are some of the toughest times I’ve faced since 1981.”
The tax expert further stated, “the light at the end of the tunnel is Q1 and the challenges we face are between now and Q1.”