Allocation for Goods & Services Not Enough – SEND Ghana
The Social Enterprise Development Foundation Ghana (SEND Ghana) has urged government to increase allocations for goods and services, and ensure they are released as promised.
According to the non-governmental organization, this would help the country in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.
This was indicated in SEND Ghana’s analysis of the 2019 budget which was presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta on November 15.
In 2018, government gave a 25.6% of total allocation to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to goods and services. The allocation was used to fund initiatives like the planting food and jobs programme.
However, in the 2019 budget allocation for goods and services to the Ministry declined by 6.7% despite the introduction of new initiatives such as Rearing for Food and Jobs programme, Planting for Export and Rural Development, and the establishment of 13 commercial greenhouses, which will be implemented next year.
SEND Ghana in its analysis opined that the decline in the allocation poses a potential challenge to the implementation of continuing and new initiatives, and risk government missing its target of having 1 million farmer beneficiaries.
They asserted that government has been spending more on salaries than goods and services.
“We believe our trend for the education sector at least partly explains this fact. According to our analysis government has been prioritizing the payments of compensation such as salaries and benefits over disbursement to goods and services which are used for the implementation of sector initiatives.”
Touching on tax, SEND Ghana observed that the proposed review of personal income tax band is not revenue enhancing.
According to the NGO, the 2019 budget proposal to review the income tax band to exceeding GH¢20,000 at a lower rate of 30 percent will adversely affect revenue generation.
They believe the proposed upward review of the income tax band is a move by government to bow to pressure from various interest groups and economic elites.
“The question is how many Ghanaians are in such a high income bracket?” they quizzed.
By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum