Stakeholders at a zonal engagement session on the 2021 national budget have expressed worry about the government’s commitment to use the budget to address issues of inequality in the country.
They said it was appropriate for government to prepare its fiscal budget with focus on addressing the inequality gap and to improve the livelihoods of the citizenry.
They said “there are various levels of inequality that exist in the society and the country’s budget must be prepared to address these issues, otherwise, as a country we would continue to implement interventions but our drive towards reducing poverty may not yield the desired results.”
The session, held in Tamale and attended by representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), public institutions and journalists, was organised by SEND GHANA with support from OXFAM and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
A SEND GHANA’s analysis of the 2021 budget, which was presented during the event, showed that not much was being done by the state to reduce issues of inequality in the country.
It showed unequal distribution of resources across geographical locations in the country and across all sectors of the economy.
“In the area of education for instance, though Greater Accra is the third of regions with least number of public schools due to huge presences of private schools, it is among the three highest recipient of budget allocation as compared to Northern region which has more public schools but less budget allocation”.
The Stakeholders suggested the need for government to prioritise disparity issues in preparing its fiscal policies to help promote equal opportunities among the people.
Mr Mumuni Mohammed, Northern Regional Programme Manager of SEND GHANA, called for collective efforts of CSOs and journalists to effectively engage government on the need to draw its budget based on equity to ensure the growth and development of the country.