Ghana needs national discussion on cutting expenditure – Kwarteng

Kwaku Kwarteng

A former Deputy Finance Minister, Mr Kwaku Kwarteng, has called for a national discussion on cutting down of national expenditure to avert future bailouts from IMF.

He noted that successive Governments since independence had sought IMF bailouts because of fiscal indiscipline and said it was time that was addressed.

Speaking on an Accra-based radio station, the Member of Parliament for Obuasi West Constituency, said ” let us take the budget and ask what expenditures we need to cut to send a signal to the outside world that we have a stable economy, stable macroeconomic fundamentals and people will be happy to partner Ghana in investments.”

“We have an environment that is uncertain, your Cedi is depreciating because you are living beyond your means. Ghana for decades, perhaps from independence has always been spending money we don’t have,” the MP said.

Mr Kwarteng said he was not in support of Government going back to IMF because the institution did not guarantee lasting solutions to Ghana’s economic woes as demonstrated over the years.

He said the current engagement would be 17 times Ghana was engaging IMF and that it had not been like that with other countries.

“Unless we have these discussions happily, Government upon Governments will come and go, we will always go to the IMF in and out and our economy will continue to demonstrate the weakness we see,” the former Deputy Minister said.

“I am clear in my mind that what did not bring you lasting solutions for 16 times is not going to bring you lasting solutions the 17th times. We need to collectively look at public sector wages, interest payments, statutory funds which are more than the revenue we generate.”

He also called for a discussion on Article 71 office holders though he noted that the total of their money could not solve all the problems.

Mr Kwarteng also called on the Ghana Revenue Authority to begin looking critically into the wealth people acquired to justify how much taxes they paid on the wealth.

Source: GNA

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