Following the rejection of the 2022 budget by the Minority in parliament, the Minority has outlined 5 conditions under which the 2022 budget will be accepted and approved.
Rejection of 2022 Budget
On Friday, November 26, the Speaker of the House, Alban Bagbin announced that the 2022 Budget dubbed “Agyenkwa” Budget has been rejected as it was put to vote despite a walkout by the Majority in Parliament over the directive by the Speaker of Parliament for non-MPs to vacate the Chamber.
Osei-Kyei Bonsi who happens to be the Majority Leader stated that the move by the speaker was unconstitutional and non-binding.
“That whole procedure was unconstitutional. As far as we are concerned, it’s null and void and has no binding effect on anybody. We have cause to believe that at least two of the NDC MPs were not in the chamber and yet out of mischief, the Speaker said that they were 137. In any event, even if you go with 137, it is still less than one-half of the 275 members of the chamber so when he puts the question, the Speaker should have known that the number would not support the decision of the House. So that purported decision is a nullity and does not have any effect on anybody”, Osei-Kyei Bonsu emphasized.
Rejection of 2022 Budget – What ensued
The Minority on the other hand had described the actions of the Majority as” irresponsible.”
“It is the height of irresponsibility that the Nana Addo/Bawumia Government could not marshal the full strength of their Members of Parliament (MPs) to defend their 2022 budget before Parliament. It is a known fact the thirteen New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the one Independent Members of Parliament constitute a majority group of 138 MPs of the Parliament of Ghana and this outnumber the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which has 137 MPs,” the Minority said.
“With this number which could secure their victory in any vote, why did they run away from their own budget? There is no way the Standing Orders of Parliament of 1992 Constitution supports the Majority Leader’s position that the Budget has not been rejected. It is trite law that you cannot sleep on a right and wake up to claim it. How could Members of a Governing party walk out on their own budget? They walked out only to save their face and a damning humiliation,” the Minority further said.
Rejection of 2022 Budget – Conditions for Approval
The Minority has therefore called on the Majority to accept defeat and acknowledge the rejection of 2022 Budget. However, if the majority wishes for the budget to be approved, the following 5 conditions must be met.
• Government must withdraw the Agyapa deal and suspend the proposed 1.75% e-levy.
• Review the government’s decision to remove the 50% and 30% benchmark values on some 32 selected items. benchmark value of imports as well as provide for the Keta tidal waves disaster.
• Removal of the draconian taxes contained in the rejected budget.
• Proper reconstruction of paragraph 829 of the Aker Energy deal relating to GNPC’s acquisition of stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum.
• Government must include, review, and withdraw certain policies and initiatives in the 2022 Budget, it will not approve the financial estimates.