Govt urged to check discretionary spending

Professor Lord Mensah, a political strategist and marketer at the University of Ghana Business School, has urged the government to control its discretionary expenditure and focus on spending on projects that will keep the country afloat.

He explained that the construction of the Agenda 111 project to build hospitals across the country, should not necessarily build 111 hospitals across the nation but ration expenditure to ensure the country was kept afloat.

“I expect the government to look at statistical data regarding discretionary spending, so it does not necessarily have to provide 111 hospitals,” Prof. Mensah said.

Bright Simons,Vice President of IMANI Africa, noted that the Minister of Finance must admit failings with some of the policies that were resisted in Parliament, especially the Electronic Transaction Levy (e-levy) since investors would be looking at whether the government made the recognitions or they just engaged in posturing.

“Ken Ofori-Atta must also be humble and admit domestic programmes are not doing well as they stated it will because some of that will be acknowledgement of revenue handles that they are talking about and their performance.

“Where I will be most interested in whether or not is sufficiently candid in admitting some of the policy restrictions that were fiercely resisted are also having negative effect, not just they are under-performing, I think E-levy has cross effect on other revenue mentions because of its impacts on sentiments.

“We are going to start seeing that in Consumption Taxes, so, some of us will be looking very closely at VAT and its performance, Corporate Taxes and its out turn, whether the government recognises it is beginning to lose credibility as being capable of taking decisions in good faith or simply posturing.

“If investors get the view they are posturing, they do not tend to tackle issues fundamentally different, they will not be able to achieve their most important policy objectives right now which is to reduce cost of our debt and if they do not bring down the international rate it will affect everything else,” Mr Simons indicated.

Joe Jackson, a Financial Analyst and Chief Operations Officer at Dalex Finance, asked the government to cut spending on some programmes especially the feeding component of the free Senior High School (SHS) because the country was broke.

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