The Akufo-Addo government is requesting Parliament to approve a supplementary budget of GHS11. 8 billion to support its spending for the remainder of the year 2020.
“Mr. Speaker, this Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review and its programmes draw us closer to our collective aspirations. While this pandemic requires us to exceed the limits imposed by the FRA, Act, 982, we have had to make these major expenditures to protect lives and livelihoods of Ghanaians and sustain businesses. We, therefore, request a supplementary budget of GH¢11,896,477,566.00 to enable us to continue this extraordinary task”, Mr Ofori-Atta said when he presented the mid-year budget review to the House on Thursday, 23 July 2020.
Mr Ofori-Atta has also projected Ghana’s fiscal deficit to hit 11.4% as a result of a GH¢13.6 billion revenue shortfall occasion by the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying global economic downturn.
“Mr. Speaker, Ghana has been hit with a double shock: a health pandemic and a global economic recession. These have resulted in revenue shortfall of GH¢13.6 billion and unanticipated but necessary expenditures of approximately GH¢11.7 billion”.
“This will result in a projected fiscal deficit of 11.4% of GDP. This is above the 5% limit as stated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982). Mr Speaker, Ghana is not unique in this regard. The pandemic has caused other countries including the 26 countries in the EU, Brazil, Jamaica, Costa Rica, etc. to suspend their fiscal rules in 2020 in light of their sharply increased fiscal deficits”.
“Mr. Speaker, given our history of fiscal rectitude, it is with great difficulty that we are having to suspend our fiscal rule due to exogenous factors. We intend to return to compliance with the FRA in the shortest possible time”.
Mr Ofori-Atta said: “Mr. Speaker, to ensure that we do not only survive this pandemic but recover and thrive, this Government is rolling out a three-and-a-half-year recovery and revitalisation programme”.