Targeted fiscal policies are key to help deal with rising inflation – Economist

Courage Martey

Economist with Databank, Courage Martey, believes the time for targeted fiscal policy interventions like subsidies for key sectors like Agriculture to check the rising rate of food prices which feeds into food inflation and national inflation is now.

While the contribution of food and non-alcoholic beverages to national inflation saw a reduction by 1.6 percentage points, it still stood at 48.4 %, indicating that the hike in food-related prices contributed about half of the overall inflation rate recorded in the country in May.

Speaking to Citi Business News, Mr. Martey noted that using monetary policy alone to deal with the inflation phenomena Ghana is experiencing will not work.

“Overall the latest data from the Ghana Statistical Service confirms that we are not in normal times, the data also confirms that monetary policy alone cannot solve the situation. Another thing the data confirms is that fiscal policy needs to be more targeted and not blanket or sweeping scale implementation. Talking of more targeted fiscal policy, if we had a more targeted fiscal policy, we could find a way of mitigating the cost pressures imposed by inflation.”

“For instance, you could argue for subsidies, but you could only do that if you have a system that can accurately identify the segment of society that needs to be subsidized, but our systems do not allow that,” he added.