The Minority in Parliament has cast doom and gloom on the 2019 budget statement delivered by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta Thursday.
The Minority spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, described the budget – which according to the government will inspire hope – as “dead on arrival.”
Speaking to Joy News’ Kojo Yankson after the budget presentation, Mr. Forson suggested that the Minister had sought to mislead the public in his presentation.
“I have reviewed it [the budget] and I have had the privilege to read it and I can conclude that it is dead on arrival. On the back of revenue, I have seen an overstatement of revenue numbers…in the 2019 budget they have overstated it to about 2.5% of GDP [Gross Domestic Product],” the legislator said.
According to the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP, the government projected a 13.1% revenue of the GDP; that number was subsequently revised to 13.0%, he stated.
However, the administration as of September had recorded a deviation of about GH¢2.4 billion, which according to Mr. Forson represents some 1% of the GDP.
Per the former Deputy Minister’s estimations, the best President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government can do is 11.5% or 12% of GDP because by all indications they cannot meet the 13.1% or 13.0%.
Mr. Forson also took a jab at the new revenue measure introduced, saying that it is not enough to grow the figures.
According to him, the withholding tax on mining [particularly small-scale mining] at the point of export will not do much to increase the state’s revenue.
“You cannot intro that measure and assume your revenue will grow from [example] 12% to 15% of GDP without a measure,” he argued.
He also acknowledged the compliance measures introduced but said, “those compliance measures cannot bring in revenue in excess of 0.5% of GDP.”