Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has said Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) lack knowledge in economics and mathematics.
Mr Oppong-Nkrumah made the comment when he rebutted claims made by the Minority that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta intends to present cooked figures during his 2020 budget presentation to the legislators on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
Speaking on Adom FM’s Burning Issues Monday, November 11, 2019, the Information Minister said, “assuming all the figures we’ve given for the past years are untrue and you’ve now made calculations three years down the line to ascertain the falsity in the figures being presented by the government, then there is a problem with the economics and mathematics they did.
“If the figures are not correct, how come the Internal Monetary Fund, Economic Intelligence Unit, Standard and Poor and all economists across the globe say it’s true except the National Democratic Congress?” He asked Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom who hosted the show.
Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, has tasked Mr Ofori-Atta to provide real figures to Ghanaians on Wednesday as he presents the 2020 budget statement and financial policy of the government.
Mr Forson said all budget statements presented by the New Patriotic Party government since assuming office in 2017 are false.
“What we want to say is that, the primary balance reported in 2017 is not true, 2018 fiscal deficit and primary balance reported are not true, and we want to repeat that the 2019 half-year fiscal deficit and primary balance reported are not true so the President and his Finance Minister have devised a strategy to massage the numbers to look good in the eyes of the citizenry,” Mr Forson said on Adom FM’s Burning Issues when commenting on the upcoming budget presentation.
The Finance Minister will present the 2020 budget statement and financial policy of the government on November 14, 2019.
This was made known by Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Sarah Adwoa Safo, during her opening remarks in the House on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
She said Parliament will pass the Appropriation Bill when all other internal processes are completed.
“Mr Speaker in this meeting, we will also have the budget hearing which is tentatively scheduled for the 14th of November and the dates will be scheduled on sectorial basis. Estimates of the budget will be interrogated at the committee levels and subsequently, this House will pass the Appropriation Bill.”
Speaking on the budget, Mr Forson, the Ajumako Enyan Essiam legislator, said it was time the government stopped deceiving Ghanaians in its bid to look good at managing the affairs of the country.
“The fiscal deficit for 2019 half-year is approximately 7.8 per cent of GDP instead of the 4.1 he [Finance Minister] is talking about. Year 2017 fiscal deficit was under-reported by 1.5 per cent of GDP [and the] 2018 fiscal deficit was underestimated by GH¢ 1billion equivalent,” he backed his claims with figures.
He also accused the government of increasing the debt stock exponentially only two years and 10 months in office. “New Patriotic Party government met a debt of GH¢ 120.3 billion and after 31 months in office, they have increased it to 205.5 billion adding GH¢ 85.5.”