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Business News of Monday, 23 November 2020


Ghanaians should expect a very difficult 2021 – Economist warns

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

An economist and lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr. Lord Mensah, has called on Ghanaians to prepare and expect a tough 2021 and beyond.

Speaking on the Morning Starr on Monday, Dr. Mensah said most of the freebies being enjoyed by Ghanaians now will not be available adding that the only way the government can shore up the revenue shortfall is to increase taxes and cut unnecessary spending.

“We should expect more tax increments and some freebies that we are enjoying are not going to be there. So citizens should expect a tough 2021. I was expecting that at the point that we had COVID-19, we would have cut down some expenditure where we had control but we kept spending…you can’t eat your cake and have it.”

“I predicted that there’s no way we would provide freebies till September and not go to December. We are hiding behind COVID-19 and going in excess of our expenditure and that’s not good for all of us.”

Dr. Amoah also warned that Ghana’s current public debt to GDP is hitting dangerous levels adding that the government must find innovative ways to cut spending.

“The best you can do is prioritize our expenditure. Don’t go on unnecessary expenditure. If we are able to do that, we should be able to handle our debt level..for me, I will say we need to be careful the way we are increasing our debt."

“That 71% you are calling now is dangerous but if they are into projects that will pay for themselves, that’s okay but we don’t see that in Ghana. We need to look at the debt issues and our expenditure…I will not call for another IMF because the next IMF help that we’ll be going to seek, I don’t think it will be comfortable for us. Effectively, there are things we can hold on to ourselves that will not take us back to IMF but we are not able to do that. We should ask ourselves why?”