The dust has hardly settled on the 7 December election and already a much hackneyed phrase used whenever there has been a shift of political power has started to appear in our political discourse – “empty coffers”.
President Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Mahamadou Bawumia have in the past few days been making claims about the economy and the lack of monies in the state coffers. This is not unexpected. Governments taking over from another either through a coup d’état or peaceful transition will always claim they met empty coffers. But really for the sake of the records, the only Government that met money in the coffers was the Nkrumah administration when it took over from the British. Since then Ghana has been running an economy based on deficit financing. What this really means is that no Government since Nkrumah has come to meet money in the “coffers”.
The coffers at any moment has money trickling in from taxes, duties, levies etc. The truth is that by the end of the year, all the revenues collected do not meet expenditure. Government therefore have to borrow to finance the shortfall also referred to as the deficit.
When the NPP handed over to the Atta Mills administration, the budget deficit as a percentage of GDP stood at about 14%. This simply means that the country’s expenditure exceeded all revenues collected in the national kitty during the year by 14% of GDP.
All Governments have to raise revenue to finance their budgeted expenditure using various taxes, export revenues etc. Any shortfall which is described as the deficit is financed through borrowing either on the domestic market or international credit market, euro bond etc.
The Mahama administration has left office with a deficit of 7% of GDP. This is much better than the 12% inherited from the Atta Mills administration and definitely much better than the 14% inherited from the Kufuor administration.
Politicians in the NPP, especially President Akufo-Addo and Bawumia have made promises they are unable or unwilling to keep. It is expected therefore that the excuses of empty coffers and debt are therefore going to their song in the next few months. But Ghanaians will not buy these excuses.
If the NPP government’s economic management team including Bawumia have even half the economic intelligence they claim they have, then they ought to know that the state coffers have never been full. They knew fully well they were not going to meet any money sitting in the kitty when they were making all the promises. So, now, no excuses please. Give Ghanaians their factories, dams, and all the fantastic promises that attracted their votes. Just get to work asap!
Source: DAILY POST