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It doesn’t matter who reads the budget; it’s the message that counts – Economist

It doesn’t matter who reads the budget; it’s the message that counts – Economist

An economist, Dr. Theophilus Acheampong, says from an economic point of view it is inconsequential who reads the 2023 budget statement on the floor of Parliament.

According to him, investors and the international community are more concerned about the message contained in the budget than who reads it.

His comment comes on the back of the filing of a motion of censure against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, by the Minority side in Parliament who are seeking to oust him.

They are blaming the Minister for mismanaging the country’s economy, among other things.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express Business Edition, Dr. Acheampong stated that the budget reading exercise is merely in fulfillment of a constitutional requirement, and would be closely monitored by investors and the international community whose confidence in the Ghanaian economy is wavering.

“Probably under the Public Financial Management laws of this country, the budget must be read by the end of November of every year for the following year. So one way or the other, we must send or present some documents to the House else some emergency budget would have to be read.

“So with the 24th of November date or what is being proposed, it is between the timelines that the PFM laws of the country actually allow,” he said.

“I think from an economic point of view, it is irrelevant who reads the budget. It’s really the message and what is communicated within that in terms of fixing those structural issues and clearly sending a signal to the market ahead of the staff-level agreement, that what’s important.

“Kojo (Kojo Oppong Nkrumah – Information Minister) used the word ‘prior actions’ and precisely so because that’s what the IMF and other players would be looking out for,” he added.

However, taking into consideration recent happenings in Ghana’s political sphere involving the Finance Minister, Dr. Acheampong is convinced that whoever reads the budget, politically, will be relevant.

“But politically, it does matter. So politically if the Finance Minister doesn’t or the current Finance Minister doesn’t read the budget we can all pretty much assume that he’s gone. It’s as simple as that, right? So it does have a political consequence, but economically it really doesn’t matter in that respect.”

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