With the minister of finance, Seth Terkper set to deliver the 2016 Budget in parliament come Friday 13th November 2015, Pulse Business is sampling the expert opinions of economists and analysts on what a transformational budget will must look like, cognizant of the current economic challenges bedevilling the country.
In an exclusive interview with Pulse Business, Dr. Laud Mensah said, with the current revenue generation problems bedevilling the country, a more strategic budgetary move will be to reduce government expenses.
Pulse Business: But government has taken a lot of steps to cut expenditure or so it appears, by evidently cutting subsidies on utility tarriffs and fuel.
Dr. Mensah: Yes. But clearly our borrowing has shown that that has not been enough. And it seems to be that government has found it easy to cut expenditure on things that pertain to the people, but not expenditure that pertains to the executive. I will like to see a lot of cut in the expenditure of the executive arms of government.
Pulse Business: Where exactly?
Dr. Mensah: A typical example will the Office of the President. It may not look so much to us, but the office of the president is one of the single places where massive streamlining of expenditure can occure. Again what I expect is a sense of discipline by government not to allign the budget to the NDC's election campaign in 2016. That has been a common phenomenon recurring in election years.
Pulse Business: Do you get the sense that taxes may go up due to the revenue shortfalls.
Dr. Mensah: With the kinds of difficulties we are facing in revenue generation, I will not be surprised if government introduces new taxes or even increase the existing ones. That will not be a good thing to do. It will have dire consequences for the economy if government does that. Again I will stress that the best thing government has to do is to cut expenditure, and that should help.