Approval of 2022 budget unconstitutional – Ablakwa

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described the approval of the budget statement by Parliament without the Minority in the House as unconstitutional .

In a statement reacting to the approval of the budget, he said “The Finance Minister is said to have told Parliament that based on the NDC MPs resistance, the following concessions have been made about the 2022 budget: a Provision now made for the Blekusu Coastal Protection Project to combat tidal waves, 2, Agyapa expunged, 3, Aker narrative amended, 4, Benchmarks reviewed and 5, E-levy reduction to 1.50 from 1.75 even though we had insisted on an outright scrap.

“The point is there are major concessions that substantially alter the shape and form of the 2022 budget initially presented to Parliament, so what exactly has the sham approval approved? Particularly, when these fundamental concessions are not properly before the House for approval.

“Did their unconstitutional conduct purported to approve the rejected budget or they approved a new budget with the said concessions.”

The approval of the budget had attracted wide criticisms from the Minority in Parliament.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said that his side in the House will now insist on headcount for every decision that is taken on all matters in Parliament.

This comes after the 2022 budget statement was approved through a headcount in Parliament without the Minority, on Tuesday November 30.

Addressing the press after the development, a disappointed Haruna Iddrisu said “From [today] every other decisions of parliament we will insist on headcounts

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“If this is the way they want us to walk we are capable to walk with them.”

They further rejected the assurance by the Finance Ken Ofori-Atta that their concerns in the 2022 budget would be addressed at the committee level.

Mr Iddrisu said that they wanted their concerns captured in the original budget statement, not to be discussed at the committees’ sittings.

“If you are acknowledging and admitting that there were concessions, let it reflect in the statement” and not a meeting at the committee level.

He indicated that the Minority will oppose the E-levy proposal in its current form any day and anytime.

“We don’t support the E-levy in its current. Our point is to revise it to take care of the ordinary people.”

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had assured them that all the issues they raised against the 2022 Budget, would be addressed at the committee level.

The Minority had raised issues including the request that the budget for Parliament should be raised from GHS510m to GHs1.7bn, issues about the e-levy and others.

Mr Ofori Atta said in Parliament on Tuesday November 30 that their concerns would be considered.

His comments came just before Parliament approved the 2022budget statement on Tuesday November 30.

The First Deputy Speaker who sat in for the Speaker said on Tuesday, Joseph Osei Owusu said that “The House has adopted the Financial statement and approved the budget statement for the ensuing year ending 31st December 2021.”

“This house has approved the budget and economic statement,” he stressed.

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The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu had asked him to set aside the purported rejection of the 2022 budget statement.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on the floor of the House on Tuesday November 30 that the rejection of the budget “did not meet the test established under Article 104,” because Parliament did not have the required numbers to be present in the chamber for purposes of taking decisions.

The minority boycotted the sitting.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana