Today, November 15, 2023, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, will be delivering the 2024 budget and financial statement at Parliament House in Accra.
This important task is a constitutional obligation that the Finance Minister fulfils on behalf of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“In accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and Section 21 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921), the Minister for Finance will, on behalf of the President, lay before Parliament the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2024 Financial Year on Wednesday, November 15, 2023,” the Ministry announced in its statement.
Meanwhile, John Jinapor, the Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu under the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has made claims that the government plans to generate GHS11 billion through new taxes in the 2024 budget. During a media interaction in Accra, the former Deputy Power Minister revealed that the Finance Minister had informed them about this development.
“We just met the Minister of Finance at the Finance Committee and the minister indicated that he intends to raise an additional GH₵11 billion, which is about 1 percent of GDP, but we have told him that we think that the people have been taxed so much so it will be inappropriate to come with new taxes; rather, the minister should look at cost-cutting,” Jinapor said.
He added, “I think that it is improper and unacceptable to further come out with new taxes and increase the tax burden on Ghanaians.”
Relatedly, the Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana has called on the government to reintroduce road tolls in the 2024 budget.
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Ghana is facing its worst economic crisis in a generation and is currently restructuring its debt in order to receive support from the International Monetary Fund.
During the mid-year budget reading in July 2023, the finance minister announced that the economy was expected to grow at a slower rate of 1.5% in 2023, down from the previous projection of 2.8%, due to fiscal consolidation measures and challenging global conditions. However, growth was expected to pick up in the following years, with projections of 2.8%, 4.7%, and 4.9% in 2024, 2025, and 2026, respectively.
The finance ministry also revised its inflation projection to 31.3% by the end of the year, up from the initial projection of 18.9% in November 2022. The government had initially aimed for a primary budget surplus of 0.7% of GDP, but now foresees a deficit of 0.5%/GDP.
Despite the downgrade in forecasts, the finance minister assured that the new parameters are in line with the IMF program’s fiscal objectives. The government had already started discussions with Eurobond holders regarding debt restructuring.