We’re in Majority but still need Speaker to take decisions – Joe Wise

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First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu has said that although the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has Majority following the decision of the Independent lawmaker who is the Second Deputy Speaker, to do business with them, they still need the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin in the seat to be able to take decisions and make the slim majority count.

Addressing a capacity building workshop organized for the Majority caucus in Parliament and some Ministers of State, the Bekwai Member of Parliament said “We go to do with the challenge of taking advantage of the one majority we have knowing that we may never be able to rely on on the Speaker in these circumstance.

“There are 137 of us plus one who may be presiding. In that circumstance, how do we go about ripping the one advantage we have as a caucus, that in my view should be the focus .

“We are a party in government, in the chamber we are called Majority but it does appear that anytime we have to take a decision we either need Mr Speaker in the chair or all of us musts vote.”

For his part, Leader of the majority side of Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, claimed the controversial E-Levy had already been approved by Parliament.

According to the Suame Member of Parliament (MP), what is outstanding of the E-Levy is for Parliament to give it a legislative backing.

His comments come on the back of threats by the minority side of the house that they will oppose the E-Levy, a tax policy they describe as being ‘draconian’ and ‘insensitive’.

The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs said, the question of approval for the E-Levy has long been answered when Parliament took certain actions.

“The difficulty for me is when people are kicking against the e-levy when you know that in the adoption of the motion to approve the budget which contains the e-levy as a policy, we approved of that so it means that the first step has already been mounted. The receivables of the e-levy have been factored into the various estimates approved for all the sectors. That is the second thing we did. Thirdly, we encapsulated everything into the appropriations bill and passed it unanimously”, he explained.

What this means for the Majority Leader is that “you have approved of the E-Levy”.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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