Information indicates that the 2018 budget of the government, which is to be presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to parliament today, will suggest a cut in the fat salaries and allowances of chief executives of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
According to sources, the budget, which will focus on stabilizing the economy, while facilitating the creation of jobs, enhancing education and boosting a private sector-led economy, will enable a plough-back of the slashed salaries.
According to reports, the Finance Ministry would ensure disciplined spending by reducing fiscal deficit to about 4.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.
Reports indicate that the current fiscal deficit target is inspired by current economic indicators which point to the fact that the 2017 target is almost being met.
Despite this reduced fiscal deficit, DAILY GUIDE sources in the ministry indicated that the majority of government’s spending would focus on social interventions, agriculture and private sector stimulation to create jobs and stabilise the economy.
An enhanced version of the ‘Planting for food and jobs’ would also be religiously pursued.
The budget will focus on pension for operators in the informal sector such as fishermen, cocoa farmers, among others.
New housing financing will also be covered in the budget to reduce the yawning housing deficit in the country.
In order for the government to undertake its programmes to meet its targets, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta is expected to seek parliament’s approval to spend about GH¢60 billion next year.
Aggressive tax mobilisation will be embarked upon, especially property tax, while private universities may get tax cuts to cushion them.
A substantial amount of money is supposed to be allocated for the government’s flagship ‘Free SHS’ programme, as well as the restoration of the nursing and teacher trainee allowances.
With the expected increment in students’ enrolment next year as the first years get promoted, over GH¢1 billion is said to have been allocated for the programme.
GH¢100m Stimulus Package
Distressed businesses, which need some support to bounce back, employ people and generate revenue, will be benefiting from a GH¢100 million stimulus package allocated in the 2018 budget.
According to sources, the package would be expanded to benefit the right businesses.
Many businesses in the country were hard hit by the power crisis that has virtually been solved by the current NPP administration.
The energy crisis, popularly referred to as dumsor, coupled with other challenges, led to the collapse of some companies while others sacked many of their staff to stay afloat.