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Business News of Sunday, 9 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

We won’t overspend in 2020 election year - Ken Ofori-Atta assures

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has reiterated that government will keep 2020 spending in check despite it being an election year.

Ghana has over the period recorded budget overruns as incumbent governments embark on massive infrastructural and social projects during election years in order to win the elections.

Speaking on Joynews’ programme NewsFile, finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta assured that the government will not overspend its budget during the upcoming 2020 general elections.

“In spite of the year being an election year, president Akufo-Addo and his government would ensure that the perennial excessive spending during such periods will not happen in 2020.

“We have an amazing team and for me under the mentorship of the vice president and the senior minister and the presidency, it gives a whole level of urgency as to what we are to do. All these people are there to guide so we do not overspend,” he said.

He further stated that his outfit mandates him to focus on the macro- stability of the country regardless of the situation.

“As a Finance Minister, I have to be really focused on macro stability. We shall work within the 2020 appropriated resource envelope and adhere to the Fiscal Responsibility Act to maintain fiscal discipline. We would do so because the nation needs it.”

Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper, has predicted that the current administration is likely to overspend its budget in this election year. Therefore he has cautioned the government to put in place measures to ensure that it stays within the budget.

The 2016 election which saw Nana Akufo-Addo win against the incumbent president, John Mahama, witnessed budget deficit slip to 6.5 percent from its original target of 3.9 percent.

The deficit was blamed on the tradition of spending beyond the budget during election years.

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