Huge consumption spending, deceit by Government killing economy – Seth Terkper says

Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper, has said the current Finance Minister’s penchant to churn out questionable figures during budget presentations so his books will look good, is contributing to Ghana’s troubled economy.

According to the lead partner of tax firm, PFM Tax Africa, because Ken Ofori-Atta usually fails to provide the true figures of, for instance the budget deficits, the financial system — which he said cannot be cheated — is bringing out the true nature of the economy.

“Even today as we speak, look at the budget. We have the arrears figure for the 2020 budget – it is GH¢ 1.4 billion or so…and we just did the Mid-Year Review…look at this number and ask yourself if we are going to pay the IPPs considering that ESLA is already encumbered as revenue does the deficit reflect the fact that you are going to pay IPPs?

“Does the deficit reflect all the payments we are making to depositors of defunct financial institutions? Because the Securities and Exchange Commission says it will refund their money…do they reflect in the fiscal that was presented? And once you pay these things, the financial systems will throw them out. You may buy yourself time but the system will throw them out,” he said.

Noting that some of Ken Ofori-Atta’s figures that do not add up.

Mr Terkper made the assertions while speaking in a round table discussion with business journalists on Friday, November 20, 2020, on ways to achieve a healthy economy.

The Finance Minister has on several occasions been accused most often by the NDC of cooking up figures presented in his budget statements.

Last year, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, accused him of massaging figures in the 2020 budget.

He said the minister manufactured figures to deceive Ghanaians into thinking that the economy was healthy.

Speaking bfurther in the round table discussions, Mr Terkper said another reason Ghana’s economy under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government is facing challenges is due to his huge consumption expenditure.

“I think that there is a lot that is being spent on expenditure and that is something which I think as a nation, we can’t keep spending on consumption,” Mr Terkper said.

The former minister also bemoaned what he believes is a particularly high-interest payment on loans.

“Our compensation and interest payments are high. We are using more than 100% of tax revenue for compensation. You can argue that you have non-tax revenue and others but remember your tax revenue includes the earmarked funds,” he emphasized.

source: norvanreports

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