2023 budget: Work together in the interest of the nation – Bagbin tells Minority, Majority

Speaker of Parliament, (M) flanked by Majority Leader (R) and Minority Leader

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has told Members of Parliament to work together regarding the debate and approval of the 2023 budget statement in the interest of the nation.

Speaking at a post budget workshop on Saturday November 26, the Speaker said he was sure lawmakers on both sides would be able to tell their constituents benefits they stand to enjoy in the budget statement.

“As honorable Members of Parliament, you will work together at this workshop and hereafter to serve the interest of our dear nation and your constituents as you consider the budget statement and economic policy for the 2023 financial year.

“I am sure at the end of the day you will be able to go home and tell your constituents  that the 2023 budget, your constituents stand, you stand to benefit from one or two or three areas in the budget and you will be able to tell how much goes to women and how much goes to the youth.”

The Speaker further revealed that Parliament is working to establish a budget and fiscal analysis department.

Mr Bagbin said this department will help furnish Members data, analytics and information in real time to enable them debate the budget competently.

“We are working on establishing the budget and fiscal analysis department and so I assure the Majority Leader who is actually supporting this because, as a member the Parliamentary service board it has to pass through them,” he said.

He added “That is what is key, not consultancy. The current trend, data and evidence guide policy and decision making. When reliable information, analytical tools and supported evidence are presented in advance members will have a better understanding of the issues  and debate the budget more competently as representative of the people.”

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The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2023 budget in Parliament on Thursday November 24.

He announced plan to urgently mobilise domestic resource in a bid to restore debt sustainability, macro-economic stability and grow the economy.

Mr Ofori-Atta, said it has become more critical to mobilise domestic revenue, especially in times like this where the country’s access to the international capital market was largely closed.

He said a responsible Government, it would take the hard, unpopular, but necessary decisions to build back better and emerge stronger.

“Mr Speaker, post-COVID, we identified the need to ramp-up our domestic revenue mobilisation efforts to match the performance of our peers and finance our development agenda. Last year, we started with the E-Levy which has not yielded the resources as expected,” he stated.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana