Economist Joe Jackson has stated that the government of Ghana missed an opportunity to deal with the nation’s debt and economic crisis through the 2023 budget statement and economic policy.
Reacting to the details of the budget presented to parliament by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Thursday, November 24, 2022, Mr Jackson said in an interview with Joy News that the government failed to apply sound judgment in preparing the budget.
According to the economist, the government ignored key ministries with the capability of pursuing the nation’s economic recovery by starving them of funding while allocating significant funds to some agencies with questionable usefulness.
“I’ll be honest just this evening I got what I thought was a reliable version of the tables and I started looking through, some of the numbers just don’t make sense to me. Why is there 80billion still there for the Cathedral? Forgive me, I don’t know. Why is there a contingency vote of 1.4 billion?
“The office of government machinery, I don’t care where you came from, why is it at 1.4billion? Guess what? Ministry of Food and Agric, do you know how much we’re giving them? 1.2billion. Do you know how much we’re spending on free SHS? 2.9billion. The Council of State is receiving more money than the Food and Agric Ministry,” he said.
He noted that the government missed an opportunity on both fronts to bridge the trust gap between the citizenry and the markets in the 2023 budget.
“The point is this, we want reassurance, we want to believe that this government can even carry the rest of the country with the austerity budget it has to impose. We want to believe somebody is trying to bridge the trust gap between the government and the public. That can be done when you trim down and all of us feel that you’re taking the pain as much as we have to take the pain,” he said.
The government of Ghana is hoping to rescue the country’s challenging economy through several policies outlined in the 2023 budget.