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Cut fiscal expenditure ahead of 2024 elections – Prof. Baah-Boateng to govt

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Professor William Baah-Boateng, the Head of the Economics Department at the University of Ghana, has urged the government to significantly reduce or manage its fiscal expenditure in the lead-up to the 2024 general elections.

He believes that curtailing wastage through procurement could substantially decrease Ghana’s deficit.

In an interview with Bernard Avle on Citi TV’s The Point of View, Prof. Baah-Boateng questioned the government’s plans for reducing expenditure during the election period.

He emphasised that cutting wastage would negate the need for tax increases, which could potentially harm businesses.

“The elephant in the room is the fiscal side, and my main concern will be the reduction, minimising, or eradication of wastage through procurement. I think if we’re able to reduce all the wastage there, we will not come out to increase taxes which will also kill businesses. Because it’s about expenditure and revenue. We seem to focus more on taxes and then we will kill businesses, while we’re wasting a lot of money on the expenditure side.

He added, “And that is what scares me, we have just about 6 months to go to an election. I don’t know how government will be able to reduce or manage its expenditure so well, that we will not be able to have any slippage. If we are able to reduce the wastage, especially from the expenditure side through procurement, then we will be able to reduce the deficit quite well.”

He also advocated for regulations to monitor the export markets, which have negatively impacted the country’s current trade account and balance of payments.

“We have to also look at some of our regulations that allow exporters to retain a greater chunk of the money out there. And you will see our trade balance being good, but you see our current trade account and our balance of payments suffering,” he suggested.

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