IMF Bailout: Gov’t announces review of free SHS & other policies

The Ministry of Finance has announced that the government was in the process of reviewing the flagship Free SHS policy and other major policies.

It ruled out the possibility of cancelling the policy as Ghana has taken steps to seek a bailout from the IMF..

In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry said that the Free SHS policy and other popular government initiatives would not be canceled despite the state’s application for IMF support.

“IMF programmes are flexible in response to evolving circumstances,” the statement said.

“The IMF encourages governments in their programme design to protect the poor or vulnerable groups from the impact fiscal adjustment. Free SHS, the School Feeding programme, among others are good social intervention programmes and it is the lack of financing and unsustainable debt burdens that could constrain a government’s ability to maintain its level of spending, including social or investment spending.”

“The IMF may ask Ghana to consider curtailing lower priority or non-productive spending (such as “white elephant” projects) as part of its fiscal adjustment but to preserve priority social spending, including on health and education”.

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