Reacting to the Finance Minister’s mid-year review and supplementary budget presented to Parliament last week, the minority said a public debt of 90 billion cedis which is 70 per cent of GDP is anything but sustainable.
Worst still, the Minority Spokesperson in charge of Finance Dr Stephen Akoto Osei said the current debt stock presented by the Finance Minister did not even reflect the true picture of the country’s debt profile.
He named the $1.5 billion eurobond approved for issue by Parliament as well as some 300 million cedis loan agreements which he said were yet to be included in the debt profile.
Dr Akoto Osei said government’s mad rush for loans must stop. He argued, at this rate of borrowing the government has only crowded out the private sector making it difficult for them to borrow to expand their businesses to create jobs for the unemployed youth.
“Sadly it is these unemployed youth who are expected to repay this debt in the future. At Ghana’s current debt each of us the 25 million Ghanaians owes 3,600 cedis.
“The rampant borrowing must stop,” he charged.
He also berated the Finance Minister for painting a rosy picture about revenues raked in so far when many statutory payments were yet to be made.
“It is disingenuous to say the least. Of course the numbers will look good if programme payments for the first five months are in arrears of 157million cedis to SSNIT, 112 million cedis to GETFund; 191 million cedis to DACF. Can the government be truthful to the people of Ghana for once?