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Why IMF Bailout Will Not Affect Free SHS

Since government publicly announced the decision for IMF support, there have been divergent views on important issues of concern to the citizenry because of the conditionalities that comes with IMF Bailouts.

One of the frequently discussed topics is whether the conditionalities will affect the current free SHS policy. Whiles many believe the policy takes so much money and therefore the IMF is likely to ask government to cut down expenditure on the Free SHS program, the government keep assuring Ghanaians that the Bailouts will not affect the policy for the following reasons.

A common question that keep repeating is do IMF supported programmes call for cuts or lower spending on social intervention programmes such as Free SHS?

The answer is a big No. This because the IMF encourages governments in their programmes to protect the poor from the fiscal adjustment. Lack of financing and unsustainable debt burdens may constrain a government’s ability to maintain its level of spending, including social or investment spending. In this situation.

Rather the IMF conditionalities are against huge spendings that doesn't bring productivity. IMF conditionalities urges countries to lower priority or non-productive spending.

The IMF, on the other hand advises government to place priority on social spending. These areas includes health and education if which the Free SHS fall within. The objectives are typically aimed at providing a social safety net for the poor and ensuring that investment spending boosts the economy at a critical time.The IMF want to ensure that government spendings especially in times like this are geared towards things that will revamp the economy.

Free SHS is a policy that aims at helping the poor to get access to education and for that matter the bailouts will not affect it. It is a social intervention program.

A recent tweet from the Presidency further assures that Government's engagement with the IMF will improve the Country's most immediate macroeconomic challenges and the government's economic policy programme.

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