First and foremost, it is critical to be aware of the purpose embedded behind the notion of the national budget. The national budget as such is focused on managing the public finance. Primarily, this is explained by the fact that the national budget is responsible for distribution of the accumulated funds through the different types of the income taxes (Dafflon, Madiès, 2013). Hence, their allocation for public goods is critical in ensuring effective mechanisms of the public finance. The national budget also manages the federal expenditures on behalf of the government of Ghana. Besides that, the national budget provides extensive information on the management of the national taxes and demonstrates the current state of the macroeconomic situation in the country.
The legislative acts and the respective documents inform the policy-making processes in the Republic of Ghana. For instance, the Appropriation Act adopted in 2019 informs how the public expenditures will be managed in the forthcoming year. The document outlines the current balance of money for the upcoming fiscal year and defines the responsibility of the governmental stakeholders involved in the process of the legislative management in the State. The document also sets the highest threthold limit of what the government of Ghana should not spend and automatically repeals the Appropriation Act for the 2018 from being effective. The adoption of such a document on the annual basis helps the state to manage its public finance more effectively. The funds covered in the Appropriation Act encompass the expenditures to the workers reliant on the state support. These include the payments of the wages and salaries, pensions and social securities. The funding of various state agencies responsible for different realms of the public policy are equally incorporated into the legislative piece. The calculations for each type of spending are included in the document and they reinforce the accuracy for understanding the budgetary implications at the national level.
The Citizens Budget 2020 constitutes another guiding document for understanding the state expenditures. The Government of Ghana reviews the balance of the national budget and aligns the spending with its priorities for the coming years. The Citizens Budget 2020 specifically covers the envisaged costs for funding of the Ministerial Realms, including the operational programs envisaged as such under the Government Priority. The key aspect of the Citizen Budget 2020 is that it mainly targets the citizens’ needs and provides the anticipated financial support for the public finance mechanisms. The budget relies on the revenue performance of 2019 and assesses the summary of the expenditures for funding of the same agencies the year beforehand. In that way, a comparative perspective allows for the closure of gaps in the public funding and envisages the room for allocation of funds for the year 2020 based on the accurate data. As I am particularly familiar with this budget process, the approach embedded into the Citizen Budget 2020 is definitely worth one’s look and thorough assessment. Clearly, the Government of Ghana takes the interests and desires of different state agencies into account while refining its policy approach and redistribution of the national budget. In the dimension of public finance, the consideration of all interest groups into account constitutes an important development on the path towards the dynamic policy in the public finance.
The budget process in the Republic of Ghana also entails the participation of the legislative branch. The Parliament reviews the budget proposals and provides the inputs into the public finance procedures. The legislative fine-tuning of the budgetary processes is critical as it establishes clear signs of the fulfillment of the democratic procedures in the processes of public finance. Besides, the national budget comes as a result of the thorough consultations of all groups of interests and demonstrates preparedness for the endeavors to the ongoing public spending. It is particularly critical for the Parliament to be aware of such developments and provide the respective inputs into the legislative processes.
In fact, the central focus of the national budget also revolves around the redistribution of the collected taxes (Golembiewski, Rabin, 2018). As the Parliament is responsible for setting the policy on the social security and protection of the vulnerable groups, it is critical for the National Budget to reflect on these visions through the adopted budget and policy developments. For example, if the Parliament decides to decrease the retirement age, the spending in the national budget would change accordingly. With the new changes in place, the protection for the social groups may lead to the cuts in the financial expenditures to some Ministries of the Governmental agencies (National Municipal League, 2017). In that vein, the budgetary process is the two-way process with multiple parties involved in the decision-making. Any legislative change associated with the public spending may bear immediate effects on the national budget.
Overall, the mechanics in the dimension of the public budgeting in the State of Ghana is not much different from the other democratic states. The key principle of the budget formation revolves around the public needs. The collection of taxes is redirected for the areas that are mainly associated with the citizens’ needs at the certain time period. Hence, it is critical to maintain the balance in the tax collection, as well as in the distribution of public funds to run smooth and coherent process of the tax collection in the state. Only in such a case the mission of the national budget and its serving to the people of the state will be fulfilled.
- Dafflon, B., & Madiès, T. (2013). The political economy of decentralization in Sub-
Saharan Africa. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.
- Golembiewski, R., & Rabin, J. (2018). Public budgeting and finance.
- National Municipal League. (2017). Model cash basis budget law. New York, N.Y.