A former deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Mona Quartey, has accused Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta of being obsessed with meeting the fiscal deficit target than the welfare of Ghanaians.
Presenting the 2020 budget and economic policy to Parliament on Wednesday, 13 November 2019, Mr Ofori-Atta said the government was doing everything possible not to exceed the limits set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
“Discretionary expenditures will be adjusted accordingly to ensure that the fiscal deficit target is not compromised and remains within the Fiscal Responsibility Rule target of not more than 5 per cent of GDP. Specifically, the fiscal deficit is projected to reach about 4.7 per cent of GDP with a Primary Surplus of about 0.9 per cent of GDP,” he told Parliament.
However, Mrs Quartey is advocating a balance between efforts to reduce the fiscal deficit and addressing the basic needs and problems of the citizenry to spur improvement in the lives of the people.
Mrs Quartey, who was a guest on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show, told Benjamin Akakpo that: “When the minister is so emphatic about achieving his fiscal deficit target, which under the Fiscal Responsibility rule target is 5%...and he seems to be so fixated on that and also positive primary balance, it makes one wonder: Are you just trying to achieve a target for the sake of achieving it without looking at your people and what they need”.
She questioned why “that is more important than growing Ghana”, to the Finance Minister.