Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson has emphasized the need for meticulous scrutiny of the 2024 budget, asserting this is crucial to protect the Ghanaian economy from total collapse.
Parliament and financial experts, he said, should ensure government spending remains within the allowable fiscal space.
Speaking at the post-2024 budget workshop for members of Parliament on Saturday, November 18, 2023, Ato Forson expressed deep concern over the state of the Ghanaian economy, attributing its current fragility to years of unchecked government spending, facilitated by an eager and over-zealous central bank.
He lamented that the nation’s economic health is now on life support and noted that Parliament has not escaped public and expert criticism for its role in this predicament.
He, however, stressed the consistent warnings from the Minority Caucus regarding the unsustainable debt incurred by the Akufo-Addo government.
According to him, despite these cautions the public still holds Parliament accountable, arguing that the government’s spending spree had the tacit approval of the House.
Looking ahead to the 2024 election year, Forson acknowledged the historical trend of fiscal discipline taking a backseat in pursuing electoral success.
He cautioned against overspending, citing hastily initiated projects without dedicated funding sources and assurances to organized labour without considering the impact on the wage bill.
“This will be the last and final budget to be presented for and on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The temptation by the President to fulfil some of his unrealistic promises, irrespective of the consequences on the Ghanaian economy, is therefore high,” warned Forson.
Drawing attention to the significance of the 2024 budget being the first since Ghana signed onto the IMF program, Ato Forson demanded attention to the stringent conditionalities that come with it, potentially burdening the average Ghanaian and causing hardship.
The Minority leader stressed the imperative for the House and financial experts to control government expenditure tightly to protect the fragile economy.
He emphasized that the effective exercise of Parliament’s oversight power over the Executive is particularly compelling in 2024 to prevent the outgoing administration from derailing the economy.