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What the Finance Minister said during his “Fellow Ghanaians” address

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As announced, the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Ghana addressed the nation today to highlight some ways the government was planning to tackle the current economic crisis.

For many who did not have the pleasure to watch the briefing, a few highlights are here for your perusal. In the face of rising living costs and a growing sense of economic hardship, the government has committed to more budget cutbacks.

  1. Plans to cut discretionary spending by an additional 10 per cent.
  2. A 50% cut in fuel coupon allocation for all political appointees and heads of government institutions. Effective April 1, 2022, this is to guarantee the efficient use of energy resources.
  3. Suspension of imported vehicles’ purchases for 2022 to decrease total vehicle purchases for the year. This affects all new orders.
  4. Suspension of all foreign travels except pre-approved statutory travels or critical travels.
  5. Plans to conclude measures to eliminate ghost names from Controller and Accountant-General’s payroll by the end of 2022.
  6. Conclusion of renegotiations of the Independent Power Producer capacity charges by the end of the third quarter of 2022 to advance lower capacity payments by 20%. This leads to total savings of GHS1.5 billion.
  7. Reduction of expenditure on all meetings and conferences by 50%.
  8. Ministers and the Heads of State-Owned-Enterprises to contribute 30% of their salaries from April to December 2022 to the Consolidated Fund.
  9. Prioritise ongoing projects over new projects to enhance the efficient use of limited public funds by finishing ongoing or stalled projects
  10. Liaise with organised labour to implement measures in the Kwahu declaration of the 2022 National Labour Conference. These include reforms towards addressing salary inequities.
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These are the major decisions the government plans to take in the coming months, which are aimed at guaranteeing the 7.4% deficit target set in the embattled 2022 budget is met.

It is worth mentioning that these new strategies are in addition to the ongoing 20% expenditure cut as part of fiscal stabilization and debt sustainability measures.

Also, early this week, members of the Council of State voluntarily cut their monthly allowances by 20% till the end of 2022.

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