Industrialists, investors and Ghanaians alike await in anticipation as Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta reads the budget statement and financial policies for the third year in office of the Akufo-Addo administration.
Key among what Ghanaians expect to hear are tariff reductions in electricity and water as well as price cuts in fuel considering assurances earlier averred by President Akufo-Addo to improve livelihoods.
Importers are also pleading with government to intercede as the current rate of growth of the dollar against the cedi is creating a lot of headaches in their sector.
Several Ghanaians including members of the governing party and those in opposition have admittedly conceded that times are harder and as such would want to see a number of reliefs in the Budget statement.
But prior to the presentation, the minority in Parliament have cautioned Ghanaians to expect their bubbles to be burst since the Budget will present nothing short of hopelessness citing an increase in the public debt stock from the current GHC159.4 billion.
Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson who describes the yet to be read Budget statement as one which will turn President Akufo-Addo’s Ghana Beyond Aid goal to ‘Ghana Beyond Hell’ says the previous two readings are a clear example of the depreciation of the country’s economy.
“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 statement, what should we expect in the 2019 budget? Hopelessness,” Ato Forson asserted
Watch the livestream of the Budget statement presentation by Ken Ofori Atta: