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Jul 2, 2015

Gov’t Will Maintain Fiscal Discipline – President assures Nation

President John Dramani Mahama has called on Ghanaians to help the government maintain fiscal discipline as the country goes through the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

The President has already indicated that his government will not be coerced to overspend ahead of the 2016 elections.

Speaking at the Senior Citizens Luncheon to mark the 55th Republic Day Anniversary on Wednesday, President Mahama assured that his government has the political will to spend within its expenditure but urged Ghanaians to support them in their quest to make the IMF programme a success.

He observed that during election years, public sector workers try to take advantage of politicians’ fear of losing elections as bait to make several demands from government.

In 2012, the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) review of the Auditor-General’s report revealed that the government exceeded its stipulated expenditure with almost all ministries and departments spending beyond more than 300% of their budgetary allocations.

He added that his government will also be bold in implementing the conditions in the IMF programme.

“I have the political will to see this through. Despite the fact that next year is an election year, and thereby the political season. I am determined to end the economic boom and bust that comes with every election cycle no matter the political cost. I ask for the support of all Ghanaians to help government to strictly adhere to a disciplined expenditure even as we approach an election year in 2016,” he added.

“Ghana has made remarkable progress in the growth of our economy and is currently classified as middle-income country. Despite this progress, our country like many other emerging economies has been experiencing challenges especially on the side of macro stability. This has been characterized by high fiscal deficit which have in turn pushed up inflation and interest rate.”

“These challenges compelled me to put the country in a program with the IMF. This three-year program will seek to significantly reduce the deficit and bring down inflation and interest rate. We are on track to achieve the deficit target of 7.5 %. This fiscal tightening will help to bring down inflation and also interest rates, and create a much-improved environment for business and investment,” he added.