Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s claim that the ruling New Patriotic Party government has performed better than the predecessor National Democratic Congress (NDC) despite almost doubling the national debt, has been responded to by the NDC.
The opposition party is is saying Dr. Bawumia’s analysis lacks foundation in commonsense.
“Yesterday [Tuesday] Dr Bawumia was in Kumasi telling us that their debt to GDP ratio is better than ours. You inherit 56 per cent ad raise it 62.25 percent and you have the audacity and effrontery to stand in Otumfuo’s Kumasi and tell the people of Ghana that your track record is better than that of John Mahama,” former Deputy Minister of Energy, John Jinapor, jabbed during his turn at the NDC’s Policydialogue on Energy.
According Mr Jinapor, it just does not make sense that an increase in the debt to GDP ratio from 56.9 per cent to 62.2 per cent does not connote poor performance.
Vice PresidentBawumia had yesterday told the Town Hall Meeting in Kumasi that even though the country’s total public debt has increased from ¢122 billion in 2016 to ¢214 billion, representing 62.2% 0f GDP, strong fiscal adjustments and better debt management has meant that the rate of debt accumulation has slowed down considerably to the lowest in the last decade.
“Although in absolute terms interest payments have increased over the last two years, with much better debt management, interest payments as a percentage of GDP declined from 6.9% of GDP in 2016 to 5.6% of GDP in 2018, and 5.7% of GDP in 2019, reducing the burden of the debt on the budget.
“So even though the quantum of the debt has gone up, we are paying less as a percentage of our annual income to service it,” Dr Bawumia added.
According to John Jinapor, however, he is not surprised: “if the NPP is capable of turning a very fine heart surgeon into a galamsey kingpin, they can equally turn an economist into a crack propagandist who engages in galamsey when it comes to statistical issues. It doesn’t support the facts.
“Today our debt has moved from ¢120 billion to ¢222 billion. What we accumulated over eight years, the NPP administration in three years has surpassed that mark,” he added.