So once again, the NDC and their surrogates got themselves hoodwinked by Ato-Forson into believing that the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia mentioned figures in his presentation at the Economic Management Team (EMT) Town Hall Meeting that were inaccurate.

Just a little bit of education here. In the Vice President’s presentation fiscal deficit figures were mentioned basically in paragraphs 6, 20, and 21 (under Fig. 8). In paragraph 6 under the heading Public Finances Prior to 2017, the Vice President sort to paint the picture of Ghana’s fiscal deficit figures as they were from 2012 to 2016 as the NPP then used and mentioned when in opposition.

It made sense then because he was trying to show how bad things were as the NPP spoke about them to win power. Dr. Bawumia mentioned in paragraph 6 and I quote:

“The economy ended in 2012 with a fiscal deficit of 12.2% of GDP, 11.7% in 2013, 11.9% in 2014 before falling to 6.7% in 2015, but rose again to 9.3% in 2016. We recorded for the first time in Ghana’s history double digit fiscal deficits in three consecutive years and plunged into a deep fiscal hole”.

These figures are true and reflect the fiscal deficit figures until the GDP was rebased. So these are non-rebased fiscal deficit figures for the period 2012 to 2016 and no one can challenge that.

As the Vice President proceeded in his presentation and had to give the fiscal deficit figures for both the NDC and NPP periods, he used the rebased figures for both periods, including the figures he had mentioned in paragraph 6. For instance in paragraph 20 when he was talking about the fiscal and monetary policy this is what the Vice President said:

“Fiscal deficit (on cash basis) has significantly fallen from 6.8% of rebased GDP in 2016 to an estimated 3.8% in 2018 (Figures 7 and 8).”

So clearly, here you notice that because the rebasing occurred in 2018 and he had to give the 2018 figure in the new series (rebased) he did not use the old (non-rebased series) for 2016 as he mentioned in paragraph 6. This is intellectual honesty and consistency. He did not use a rebased figure for 2018 and a non-rebased figure in 2016. He was very professional and consistent.

Again, if you move to paragraph 21 under Fig. 8, he showed the rebased fiscal deficit figures right from 2013 to 2018. In that paragraph he gives the figures as follows: 2013 (8.4%), 2014 (7.4%), 2015 (5.3%), 2016 (6.8%), 2017 (4.8%), and 2018 (3.8%). So you see, apart from the paragraph 6 where he showed the non-rebased data as was used by the NPP prior to election 2016, subsequently he showed the new series (rebased) figures.

He did not show non-rebased figures for the NDC era and rebased figures for the NPP era. He was consistent in showing the same series for both periods anytime he mentioned them. So where is the lies?

What is rather a LIE is when Ato-Forson pretentiously quoted a provisional outturn 2016 deficit figure from the website of the Ministry of Finance as 7.8% and created the impression that that is the actual non-rebased deficit figure for 2016. This figure is a provisional outturn and cannot be said to be the actual deficit figure for 2016.

Even in his attempt to lie about the figure, he quoted the wrong one because in the excel sheet on the Ministry’s website the figure is 8.7% and not 7.8% as quoted by the lying Ato-Forson.

The actual (not provisional) non-rebased fiscal deficit figure for 2016 is clearly provided for in the mid-year budget of 2017, as well as the 2018 and 2019 budgets. And in all of them the figure mentioned is 9.3%, consistent with what Dr. Bawumia mentioned. For example:

Page 7, par. 14 of the 2017 Mid-Year Budget reads as:

“Mr. Speaker, on the fiscal front, updated information shows that the end-2016 fiscal deficit was worse than previously estimated, at 9.3 percent of GDP compared to the provisional figure of 8.7 percent of GDP on cash basis at the time of presenting the 2017 Budget.”

Page 12, par. 45 of the 2018 Mid-Year Budget reads

“The cash fiscal deficit declined from 9.3 percent of GDP in 2016 to 5.9 percent at the end of 2017, 0.4 percentage point lower than the original forecast of 6.3 percent, as in Table 1”. –

Page 3, par. 14. Of 2019 Full Budget Statement reads as:

“Mr. Speaker, it is important to remember what it was in order to appreciate the work that has been done to fix the mess: High Fiscal Deficits reaching 9.3 percent of GDP in 2016” –

So you see Ato-Forson lied here. Where did he get the 7.8% for 2016 from?

You can do all the propaganda with insults and lies but the FactsCheck will expose you.

By Dr. Gideon Boako, spokesperson for Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia