The Executive Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) Prof. Newman Kusi has described the 2018 Budget as a “Shopping list of Development”.
He said next year’s economic statement is similar to the 2017 version with little addition and lacks details.
“The 2018 budget seems to rehearse many of the things that were said in the 2017 budget with very little details provided for the performance or implementation of those projects and programs put across in 2017 budget,” Prof. Kusi stressed during Starr FM’s 2018 Budget Dialogue dubbed: “In depth analysis of what 2018 holds for government and the ordinary Ghanaian” held at UPSA in Accra.
He added: “I find it as a shopping list of development.”
Prof. Kusi opined the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta missed a clear opportunity while presenting the budget on the Floor of Parliament to provide details of some of the key government programmes.
He averred the Finance Minister rather chose to veer into the campaign mood by enumerating achievements of the government in the last 10 months.
“I think we need to attach some seriousness when it comes to budget presentation… Don’t let the budget look like we are on a political platform…,” Prof. Kusi remarked.
“Of course, the delivery is not time to provide details of every programme to be implemented in the coming year, but at least we expected the minster to give us a little more presentation about the programmes and when it will start and funding for them. Most of them we are in the dark as how they are going to be funded,” he noted.
Meanwhile, an Economist and Head of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, Prof Godfred Bokpin, has lauded the government’s 2018 budget statement as a “good” one and pointing to the right direction.
“The 2018 budget is a good one that enables us to plan and build on the progress that we have made,” he said.
“So, when you look at the 2017 budget it builds substantially on the progress that the previous government made in 2016 and 2015 under the development framework called the Ghana shared growth development agenda two. So it is a continuation,” Prof. Bokpin opined.
“It is very important to say that this government has started on a good note,” Dr. Kwaku Mawutor, the Dean, School of Professional Studies chipped in.
“Immediately this government got into office, they started with most of the things they promised the people of Ghana,” he added.
Nonetheless, he stated that some of the projections in the 2018 budget are alarming, especially when about 32 percent of the government’s expenditure is going into compensation.
“Looking at revenue target, I think this government is being over ambitious,” he pointed out.