The Akufo-Addo government has been hiding fiscal deficits from the annual budget since 2019 and the cumulative amounts that have been swept under the carpet add up to a whopping Ghc20.6billion, the Minority in Parliament has alerted.
In a statement released by the Minority in Parliament in response to the 2021 budget, a direct demand was made for the government to account for the fiscal deficit which has become a black hole in the government’s expenditure framework.
“We note that for the 2019 fiscal year Government reported a fiscal deficit of 4.8% of GDP. Whilst at the same time as confirmed by the IMF in their April 2020 staff report a fiscal deficit of 7.5% of GDP,” the statement said.
It added that this means an amount of about GHS8.2billion was concealed from the expenditure framework.
“We demand that the fiscal deficit including arrears for the year 2020 be corrected in the budget statement to reflect the actual figure of 17.5% of GDP,” it said.
In 2020, the fiscal deficit hidden away by the Akufo-Addo government was 13.8%, which amounts to Ghc6.2billion, while Ghc6.2billion in energy sector payments were not included in the budget.
“The fiscal deficit for the year 2020 of 13.8% of GDP as stated by the Ministry of Finance excludes an amount of GHS6.2 billion being what Government refers as Energy sector payments.
“We demand the inclusion of the Energy sector payments of GHS6.2 billion in the fiscal tables to reflect in the corresponding fiscal deficit,” the statement demanded.