Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (KON) has entreated the public to disregard predictions by the Minority in Parliament that the 2019 budget will make Ghana hellish.
The Minority on Tuesday said the budget will turn President Nana Akufo-Addo’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ slogan into ‘Ghana Beyond Hell’.
At a roundtable on the forthcoming budget, the Minority spokesperson on finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, explained: “We say Ghana beyond hell because, in the year 2017, the budget was named ‘asempa’ budget, meaning good news, but at the end, what did we see? We saw ‘asembone’ budget, meaning bad news.
“In the year 2018, the budget was named ‘adwuma’ budget, meaning we were going to expect more employment, but what are we witnessing now? We are witnessing job losses, layoffs and no jobs.
“President Akufo-Addo announced that the 2019 budget will be full of hope. But judging from the outcome of the 2017 and 2018 budget and economic policy statements, what should we expect in the 2019 budget? Hopelessness,” the MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency in the Central Region, said.
The former Deputy Minister of Finance in the Mahama government also predicted that the Akufo-Addo government will bloat the debt stock by GHS16 billion.
Responding to the Minority, Mr Nkrumah pointed out that the same Caucus had “said there was going to be hunger; they said there was going to be a mobile phone tax or talk time tax; they said there was going to be economic recession … I think over the years, as they have done this exercise when it comes to their credibility on economic predictions, there is not much to speak about in the direction, so, I think we can disregard their comments and wait for the Finance Minister”.
He said the Minority “came up with all sorts of concocted ideas [but] none of them happened [so] I don’t think that we should really pay much heed to this prediction of panic and doom that they try to do at every budget”.
Mr Ofori-Atta is scheduled to present the 2019 Budget to parliament on Thursday, 14 November 2018.