A Deputy Minister for Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, has rubbished calls for the withdrawal of the 2018 budget presented to the House by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta last Wednesday.
The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, who made the call, had stated that government had reviewed some key economic targets without recourse to the House.
According to him, “The Minister responsible for Finance cannot revise the expenditures and revenue without parliamentary resolution.”
Mr. Kwarteng, however, dismissed these suggestions, saying the Minority’s argument is flawed since the government cannot premise its budget on the previous one passed by Parliament while ignoring the realities on the ground.
“The point that we should have rather premised the 2018 budget on the 2017 budget passed by Parliament, and we should have ignored the realities and we should not have built future plans on the basis of today’s actuals is a very strange proposition.
“You do your budget on the basis of actuals because going forward, you want to plan on the basis of reality so for anyone to suggest that because you did midyear review and Parliament did not approve of it, then you are unable to do 2018 budget statement because you would have premised it on the mid year review projections is flawed,” Mr. Kwarteng argued.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, presented the Akufo-Addo government’s 2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament.
The budget highlighted results from the government’s policy programmes over the past few months, and announced the government’s planned developmental programs for the next fiscal year.
Among the major programs to be rolled out by the government in 2018, are tax relief for private universities, tax holiday for young entrepreneurs, proposed 13% reduction in electricity tariff for residential consumers and 21 for industries, the establishment of a nation-building corps to offer jobs to graduates, and operationalization of the special prosecutors’ office.
The budget, dubbed the ‘Adwuma Budget’ [Job’s Budget], focuses mainly on revenue mobilization through strict tax collection modules and job creation.