Following a publication that Cassiel Ato-Forson seems to have churned out misleading information to the public in his desperate attempt to showcase that the Ghanaian economy is performing poorly under the New Patriotic Party (NPP’s) Government, the spokesperson on finance for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says his figures are accurate.
“I emphatically maintain that the Vice President deliberately deceived the nation by quoting false fiscal numbers,” he says.
“The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who doubles as the head of the Economic Management Team (EMT) quoted fictitious numbers which are in contrast with the official fiscal numbers published by the Ministry of Finance.”
A financial expert who is reported to have spoken to DailyGuide on condition of anonymity was quoted to have said that “even in his (Ato-Forson’s) attempt to lie about the figure, he quoted the wrong one because in the excel sheet on the Ministry’s website the figure is 8.7% and not 7.8%.
“The actual (not provisional) fiscal deficit figure for 2016 is clearly provided for in the mid-year budget of 2017, as well as the 2018 and 2019 budgets. And in all of them the figure mentioned is 9.3%, consistent with what Dr. Bawumia mentioned.
“For example: page 7, par. 14 of the 2017 Mid-Year Budget reads as: “Mr. Speaker, on the fiscal front, updated information shows that the end-2016 fiscal deficit was worse than previously estimated, at 9.3 percent of GDP compared to the provisional figure of 8.7 percent of GDP on cash basis at the time of presenting the 2017 Budget.”
Page 12, par. 45 of the 2018 Mid-Year Budget also reads: “the cash fiscal deficit declined from 9.3 percent of GDP in 2016 to 5.9 percent at the end of 2017, 0.4 percentage point lower than the original forecast of 6.3 percent, as in Table 1”.
Again page 3, par. 14. Of 2019 Full Budget Statement reads as: “Mr. Speaker, it is important to remember what it was in order to appreciate the work that has been done to fix the mess: High Fiscal Deficits reaching 9.3 percent of GDP in 2016”
“Ato-Forson lied here. Where did he get the 7.8% for 2016 from? Even the rebased (new) deficit figure of 6.1% was wrong. It is rather 6.8% as mentioned by Dr. Bawumia.”
Here’s Ato Forson’s reaction to the statement and several others accusing him of rather quoting wrong figures.