2018 Budget Watch: Gov’t to spend GH¢62billion

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The Akufo-Addo government is expected to spend some GH¢62billion come 2018 financial year as contained in the national budget.

This is according to the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta who appeared before parliament to present the government’s revenue and expenditure estimates for 2018.

Per budget, the GH¢62billion represents 25.7% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and represents an annual growth of 14.5%.

“Mr. Speaker, Total Expenditure, including provision made for the clearance of arrears is estimated at GH¢62 billion, equivalent to 25.7 percent of GDP. The estimated expenditure for the year represents an annual growth of 14.5 percent.

Compensation of Employees which continues to represent the single largest item of government expenditure is estimated at GH¢19.6 billion (8.1 percent of GDP). Of this amount, GH¢16.8 billion, equivalent to 6.9 percent of GDP has been provisioned for Wages and Salaries alone.

Expenditure on Goods and Services is estimated at GH¢3.5 billion, representing 1.5 percent of GDP. The annual growth of 56.9 percent reflects a full provision made to cater for the Government’s priority programmes, including the flagship Free SHS policy which enters its second year of implementation in 2018,” he said.

Resource Mobilization for 2018

According to him, “total Revenue and Grants for the 2017 fiscal year has been conservatively estimated at GH¢51 billion based on our projection of the level of economic activity in 2018, Government’s policy on taxation and donor grant disbursements while total Receipts from upstream petroleum activities amount to GH¢3.2 billion and estimated at 6.2 percent of Total Revenue and Grants. This is about 1.3 percent of GDP and represents a per annum growth of 24.8 percent over the 2017 projected outturn.”

Meanwhile the Domestic Revenue is estimated at GH¢50.5 billion, representing an annual growth of 26.9 percent, with Non-Tax Revenue is estimated at GH¢8.0 billion, equivalent to 3.3 percent of GDP. Of this amount, internally generated funds to be retained by IGF-generating institutions amount to GH¢3.8 billion, the Finance Minister stated.

While the government looks at cutting cost of electricity by some 13%, Mr. Ofori-Atta disclosed that revenue inflows from the Energy Sector Levies, specifically, the Energy Debt Recovery Levy, and the Price and Stabilization Levy is estimated at GH¢2.1 billion.

These inflows are reported for transparency purposes and are not intended for budget utilization, he noted.

On grants from developments partners which comes to support the budget every year, the Finance Minister disclosed that, in 2018 the government is expected to receive an estimate of GH¢586.8 million, equivalent to 0.2 percent of GDP to support projects but they do not expect to receive any programme grants.

“It is important to note that, as a middle-income country, these donor resources will cease with time, emphasizing the urgent need to boost domestic revenue mobilization,” he stressed.

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