budge

The Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC) says such a move by the government will have adverse effects on women, children and vulnerable groups.

ISODEC
ISODEC

budgePolicy Analyst for the think tank, Charlotte Afudego said here during a dialogue with the media on Ghana’s 2016 budget statement and economic policy.

The country’s Finance Minister, Seth Terkper presented the budget statement and economic policy of the government for the 2016 fiscal year to parliament on November 13, 2015.

The West African country’s 2016 budget, which is an austere one, is under the theme, “Consolidating Progress Towards A Brighter Medium Term.”

Terkper said, “Despite being an election year, let me also reiterate President Mahama’s assurance of sustaining fiscal discipline whilst investing prudently in infrastructure and social development. We will resist the temptation of election year overspending.”

Afudego observed there was a general decline in the education and health where most vulnerable groups including women and children were found.

“If you look at key sectors like education, it has received some decline. Water has experienced some decline and the social protection programmes as a whole with (Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) excluded, experienced a 54 percent decline.”

She insists the move to reduce the budgetary allocation will widen the inequality gap making the poor more vulnerable since they depend more on public services.

The ISODEC Policy Analyst said, “If government says that this time around they want to kind off protect the poor in a way since they are embarking on the IMF programme, then we were expecting to see something rather on the high side so that has been a major failure of the 2016 budget especially addressing issues of the poor.”

ISODEC among others is urging the Ghanaian government to address issues such as the implementation of the inclusive education policy for vital infrastructure provisioning, adjusting the current rate of 4.5 cedis or 1.2 US dollars for inflation for capitation grant and achieving value for money in the education sector by conducting a public expenditure survey.

It also urged the government to provide a roadmap for the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3); “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” to take off and be appropriately linked to resources for implementation.

Executive Director for ISODEC, Bishop Aklogo urged the people to take interest in monitoring budget statements and economic policies of governments.

“It is important for citizens to monitor to ensure we track what was said to be done is done, that is one way we can make our governments accountable to us. Leakage in the budget is a major issue and if we fail to monitor what is presented to us, they will do little for us,” he said.

The government in its budget for 2016 has projected to spend an amount of 7,553,878,941 cedis or 1,987,862,879 USD in the education sector as against 7,584,336,602 cedis or 1,995,877,974 USD in 2015.

Similarly, the government intends to spend an amount of 4,482,037,864 Ghana cedis or 1,179,483,648 USD in the health sector. In 2015, the government allocated an amount of 4,253,919,543 Ghana cedis or 1,119,452,511 USD.

The government also allocated an amount of 49,520,377 Ghana cedis or 13,031,678 USD to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to undertake its various programmes in 2016. This is against a figure of 43,631,694 Ghana cedis or 11,482,024 USD for the 2015 fiscal year. Enditem.

Source: Francis Tandoh

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