Governments’ spending in election years worrying – Kwaku Kwarteng

Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi West Constituency Kwaku Kwarteng has expressed worry over the deficit incurred by the country during election years.

He noted the situation is worsening.

In a discussion on TV3’s news analysis programme Headlines, Mr Kwarteng questioned the level of spending that characterized the final quarter of 2012.

“If we don’t shed light on what is causing the periodic wild budgeting, we will continue to run into problems every four years,” he said.

He observed that most of the times, the monies are used to campaign.

Mr Kwarteng said when the country runs into deficit in an election year, “it takes about three years for us to recover and then there is another election,” he added.

He said the Mahama-led government spent more than any other government in the last quarter of 2012.

“Monies meant for NHIS were used for electioneering,” he cited.

“In the last three months of 2012, NADMO spent GH¢300 million,” he cited. “What were the disasters that NADMO managed that they had to spend such an amount?”

He also disclosed that there was a huge deficit at the Office of the President.

MP for Nanton Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, who was also on the programme, acknowledged the high spending in election years, citing that in 2008, there was also a huge deficit.

But Mr Kwarteng further argued that in 2008, the size of the economy was estimated at GH¢30 billion and the deficit was GH¢2 billion.

Nonetheless, the NDC had an economy of GH¢72 billion and incurred a deficit of GH¢8.7 billion, Mr Kwarteng argued.

He further disclosed that government has concealed some of its expenditure under the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) since, according to him, a budget which was read three months into a year still had the omission of financial reports from some MDAs.

“Ordinarily, the budget statement should have come in November,” he said.

“Three months, we are not able to account. Some monies spent are not being accounted for.”



Governments must be stopped from spending in election year – Nitiwul

Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament Dominic Bingab Nitiwul says he will advocate for passage of a law that will stop governments from spending in election years.

He said the National Democratic Congress’ expenditure in the last quarter of 2012 has influenced his position.

“I will start advocating for a law that stops governments from spending in the last year, especially in the last quarter of the year,” he said on TV3’s News @ 10 on Wednesday.

According to Member of Parliament for the Bimbilla Constituency, the Mahama-led NDC government spent as much as GH¢700 million on campaigning last year.

“The Youth and Sports Ministry alone spent over GH¢300m last year,” he stated.

“GH¢8.7 billion is the total government spent in the last quarter,” he added.

He alleged that the usage of the money on government projects like the Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP) and Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Dvelopment Agecny (GYEEDA) was ostensible.

“It went into campaigning,” he stressed.

“We are choked with debt now,” he noted.

“Government has overspent,” he added.

He also pointed out that there are no “visible” projects commensurate with the excessive borrowing of the NDC.

“If you look at the quantum of money borrowed by NDC, they are the government that’s borrowed more than any other government since independence.”