Economics and Finance lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Professor Godfred Alufar Bokpin, has predicted potential fiscal spillages as Ghana gears up for the 2024 elections.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, the economist observed that the government’s current posture portrayed a likelihood of significant fiscal challenges this year.
The economist emphasised the seriousness with which politicians approach election years.
According to Prof Bokpin, historical patterns suggest that governments often alter their fiscal strategies in the lead-up to elections, leading to what he termed as “fiscal spillages.”
“Remember politicians don’t joke about an election, for now, we haven’t seen anything but in the second half of this year, nobody manages anything and you will see that the government will dribble the IMF,” he said on Tuesday.
Highlighting the strategic nature of political maneuvering, Prof Bokpin drew parallels with the 2016 elections, where the government adeptly navigated fiscal challenges, outsmarting international financial bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“In almost all the competitive election years that we’ve had, probably under the Fourth Republic, maybe except for 2004, you can see the fiscal spillages.”
Prof Bokpin explained that in instances where election outcomes are largely predicted, incumbents tend to exercise fiscal restraint, avoiding excessive spending to sway voters.
However, in fiercely contested elections like 2000, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020, Prof Bokpin pointed out observable fiscal spillages, amounting to an approximate 2.5% increase in GDP during election years compared to the preceding ones.