The Minority in Parliament has taken note of some claims made by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, at the 69th New Year School to the effect that government has met the fiscal deficit target for the year 2017.
The Minority would like to point out some inconsistencies in the Vice President’s claims.
We recall that when the NPP government presented the 2017 Budget Statement to Parliament in March 2017, it added Ghc7 billion to the arrears figure for 2016 which resulted in a deficit of 6.5 percent.The Minority issued a statement to explain the difference between Commitments and Arrears and what data should be included in the Arrears as Ghana moves towards the accrual accounting system.
Strangely but not surprising, Dr Bawumia and the NPP government appear to have taken the explanation and keep revising their GHC7 billion downwards from the 2017 Mid-Year Review.The Vice President and government now claim it is GHC3.1 billion.
Granted that the figure is now GHC3.1 billion and not Ghc7 billion as initially claimed, why did the Vice President not revise the end-2016 budget deficit of 6.5 percent downwards by the difference of almost GHC4 billion? Why did he mislead the New Year School, an august tradition, that the deficit remained the same at 6.5 percent at the end of 2016?
The answer is simple: the Vice President as usual is manipulating figures with the view to distort the true picture of the economy to Ghanaians, in the same way he held the end-debt of 2008 figure down at an exchange rate of GHC1=US $1 for the NPP but used a floating rate for the NDC figures.
The Vice President, also refused to tell the audience about the full extent of arrears at end-2017 (including those owed to Schools for free SHS) using the method applied at end-2016. He needs to apologize to Ghanaians and for once tell the people the truth.
James Klutse Avedzi
Deputy Minority Leader
Tuesday,16th January, 2018