A spokesperson for the minority in parliament has described the president as dishonest for saying there will be no haircut on financial instruments.
The president, in an October 30, 2022 address, said, “I also want to assure all Ghanaians that no individual or institutional investor, including pension funds, in government treasury bills or instruments will lose their money as a result of our ongoing IMF negotiations.”
There will be no “haircuts”, so I urge all of you to ignore the false rumours, just as, in the banking sector clean-up, the Government ensured that the 4.6 million depositors affected by the exercise did not lose their deposits,” he added.
However, during the presentation of the 2023 budget, the Finance Minister announced that due to Ghana’s unsustainable debt levels, there will be a debt exchange programme.
Ato Forson stated that the government is about to impose a haircut on both domestic and external debtholders.
“I heard the deputy minister say that the only debt instrument that will not be affected by a debt restructuring is Treasury bills. This simply means that if you are a domestic debt holder, bonds are going to be affected by the restructuring. As long as it is domestic, it is going to be affected.
“The Eurobonds are going to be affected; term loans are going to be affected. Loans are going to go through a haircut. So clearly, the president was not honest to the people of Ghana when he announced that there will be no haircut,” he told journalists on November 25, 2022.
He also added that Ghanaians must brace up for extreme hardships due to the conditionalities listed in the 2023 budget.
“This budget is going to introduce extreme austerity in the year 2023. I can only urge the people of Ghana to brace up for economic hardship worse than what we went through in 1979 and 1983.
“To the youth of this country, there is going to be a net freeze of employment, there is no hope for you. To the ordinary trader, taxes are going to go up, and to the people of Ghana, be ready that prices of goods and services will go up because of the increase in VAT,” he said.