The Government has cut its budgetary allocation to social protection programmes by over 40 percent in the 2016 budget.
The 2016 budget is the first budget in the second-year of a 3-year of the countries International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme that recommends austerity in public expenditure.
According to the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), this is contrary to the Government’s promise to scale up expenditure in these areas whiles implementing austerity measures.
Speaking to Citi News a senior budget analyst at ISODEC, Charlotte Afudego, said she had expected that “at least social spending would go up but we see is that it is rather on a decline”
She noted that key areas like education and health were slashed in the budget.
“If you look at key sectors like education, it has received some decline. Water has experienced some decline and the social protection program as a whole with LEAP excluded, experienced a 54% decline.”
She insists the move to reduce the budgetary allocation will widen the inequality gap making the poor more vulnerable since they depend more on public services.
“If government says that this time around they want to kind off protect the poor in a way since they are embarking on the IMF programme, then we were expecting to see something rather on the high side so that has been a major failure of the 2016 budget especially addressing issues of the poor.”
By Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana