The Minority Members of Parliament have said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is plunging Ghana back into a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC).
At a round-table on Monday ahead of the presentation of the 2018 budget to Parliament on Wednesday, the Ranking member on the Finance Committee, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, said Ghana risks being HIPC by 2019 due to the reckless management of the economy by the Akufo-Addo government.
“Unfortunately, the state will be ending the year with s Debt-to-GDP ratio of approximately 73.6 percent,” he said.
“When the Energy Bond and the UT/Capital Bank bond is added, the Debt-to-GDP will rise to 76.8 percent from 72.5 [inherited from the previous government]. Ghana is heading toward HIPC. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t be surprised if by the end of 2019, we are declared HIPC,” the MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam constituency added.
The minority has also asked Ghanaians to brace themselves for tough times as government’s budget and economic projections for 2018 portend bleak days ahead.
“Can you create jobs under severe austerity under fiscal consolidation? The budget deficit in IMF’s article four is projected to be 3.8%, so ladies and gentlemen, next year, let us be assured that there is going to be ‘ahutsere’ – severe austerity equivalent to 1983; you should expect that,” he stressed.
The minority further vowed to resist any attempts by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to overburden the ordinary Ghanaian tax payer.
Mr Forson indicated that even though citizens are expected to get a breather on taxes, plans are being hatched by the Akufo-Addo government to reinstate the taxes.