The debate on the 2024 Budget Statement and Financial Policy of the Government began on Tuesday on the floor of Parliament, with both the majority and minority sides of the house expressing strong and divergent views on the country’s economy and the way forward.
Whereas the NPP Majority was arguing in support of the budget and appealing to the House to approve the policy, the NDC Minority was critiquing it.
The budget was presented to the House by Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the finance minister, on Wednesday, November 15, highlighting the government’s programs and policies for the fiscal year 2024.
Opening the debate, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information and NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Ofoase-Ayirebi, said there was a high debt situation, and many countries were troubling international partners to try and deal with their debts.
He said the presentation of the 2024 budget comes at a time when growth is challenged, saying “The Ghanaian economy that was growing at an average of 7.0 percent between 2017 and 2019 is now just growing around 1.5 percent thereabout”.
He noted that an economic program at this time must seek to bring back economic stability, adding that if inflation were sitting at around 50.00 percent, no businessperson or businessman could be satisfied to do business.
The Minister said therefore that the first objective of any sound economic policy was to bring back economic stability.
On his part, Mr. Isaac Adongo, the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament and NDC MP for Bongo Central, argued that after seven years in Government, the Akuffo-Addo administration had impacted the lives of Ghanaians negatively.
Madam Abena Osei-Asare, a Deputy Minister of Finance and NPP MP for Atiwa East reiterated that the COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war had impacted negatively on Ghana’s economy, which the Minority in Parliament and the opposition NDC were refusing to acknowledge.
She thanked the people of Ghana for their great support throughout the implementation of the 2023 budget.
She said they hoped that they would continue to entrench the economic recovery process leading to stability and growth in the year 2024.
Mr. John Abdulai Jinapor, Ranking Member for the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament and NDC MP for Yapei-Kusawgu, in comparing the average growth rate between the erstwhile NDC Government and the current NPP Government, said from 2009 to 2016, which was eight years of NDC, they performed better.