2020 Budget: Roads expenditure could lead to budget overruns – ISSER

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, ISSER, says the government’s description of 2020 as a year of roads is worrying, as this could lead to a huge budget deficit.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, during the 2020 budget presentation to Parliament, announced that government is going to channel resources to fix many of the country’s deplorable roads.

But ISSER believes the decision could be problematic for the economy if not properly handled.

“The current politicization of road infrastructure with the ‘no roads, no votes’ mantra is worrying as we move into the election year. Indeed government has described the year 2020 as the year of roads and it is indeed worrying because if we are not careful, we will run into a huge budget deficit. We want to win votes , government provides roads, of course it’s a legitimate cause to demand for roads, but we also have to be a bit circumspect otherwise we will have the political business cycle again where we overspend in an election year and then we come and clean-up and do the same”.

Director of ISSER, Prof. Peter Quartey, made these remarks while presenting the institution’s findings at the ISSER 2020 Budget Review, which touched on industry, agriculture and the services sectors.

ISSER is also concerned about government’s interventions particularly in the tourism sector, which it says are not enough to grow the sector.

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