The Ghanaian government has said that it would drastically reduce public spending next year to restore local and international confidence the country’s economy. Ghana will vote in December 2016 to choose new Members of Parliament and an executive President. Ghana’s President, John Mahama said his government will not be coerced by workers for salaries and wages increase because it is an election year. “Often, what happens is that in election year, trade unions and everybody sees that government is in a vulnerable place and so that is where demonstrations and agitations for increased pay begin to happen. Because of the sensitivity of the period and the fear of losing election, government normally will give in to some of these pressures and before you see the budget is over bloated and then when elections are over, the government is installed to start the belt tightening all over again”, he said.
They were many agitations by the labour front in Ghana over increase in salaries and wages last year. This resulted in many strikes and protests against the government. But President Mahama said these agitations against his government last year have toughened his government to contain such pressures. ``It is said that when you kill a goat and you frighten it with knife it doesn’t fear the knife because it is dead already. I have the dead goat syndrome going forward. So we are going to ensure that we have fiscal discipline”, Mr Mahama said.
The Ghanaian leader was addressing the Ghanaian community in Botswana in his three-day State Visit to the Southern Africa country. He assured that the government will maintain fiscal discipline to prevent the country seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in future. The IMF agreed a $1 billion economic bailout program with Ghana last month. Ghana is hoping to restore its ailing economy within the next three years on the advice of the IMF. Civil Society Organizations have said that the country’s economy might collapse if emergency measures are not taken by the government to seek external intervention. Critics of the government have said that the current woes of the Ghanaian economy were as a result of the overspending done by the government in the 2012 general elections.