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National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency Cassiel Ato Baah Forson has bemoaned the increase in the country’s public debt under the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government just 18 months into power.
Discussing the 2019 budget statement presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta last Thursday, Mr Forson said from GH¢122 billion the debt has risen to GH¢170.8 billion.
Delivering the budget, the Finance Minister said the total stock comprises GH¢86.6 billion external debt and GH¢84.1 billion domestic debt.
“The overall rate of debt accumulation in 2018 is 19.8 percent, driven primarily by the cost of the clean-up of the financial sector, involving the resolution of the seven defunct banks,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
He explained that the total debt is 70.7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
But reviewing the budget on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee said every Ghanaian including newly born babies, by current terms, owes GH5,798.
“Mr Speaker, this is unprecedented,” he stressed.
According to him, it will be deception on the part of government to state that the loans will be invested into infrastructure as announced in the budget.
“I’m surprised that this government is creating the impression that they are going to do magic with infrastructure.
“The allocation does not support infrastructure development.”