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2022 budget: Your actions has been disgraceful, indecorous – NDC Germany blasts majority

By Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
NDC News 2022 budget: Your actions has been disgraceful, indecorous – NDC Germany blasts majority
DEC 7, 2021 LISTEN

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Germany Chapter has lambasted the Majority in Parliament over their actions towards the debate of the 2022 budget statement.

In a statement from the Chapter, it says the majority has disgraced itself in events that led to the approval of the budget instead of building consensus with the Minority side in parliament.

“We strongly condemn the appalling and egoistic attitude of the Majority group in parliament with respect to the so-called approval of the rejected government financial and policy statement (2022 budget),” part of a statement from the NDC Germany Chapter reads.

It adds, “We have been keenly watching the killer budget debates on the floor of parliament. Like many other Ghanaians, we in the diaspora have been scandalized by the disgraceful and indecorous behavior of the Majority group on the floor of parliament by staging an unprecedented and shameful walk-out on Friday, 26th November 2021 with flimsy excuses of blaming the indefatigable Speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, and demanding the NDC General Secretary, Hon. Asiedu Nketiah to vamoose from the public gallery.

According to the group, it is clear the Majority group in Parliament is still living in the olden days and has clearly forgotten that the current eighth parliament is a hung one and requires serious consensus building from both aisles of parliament.

Amid the discourse of the budget and the rejection by many Ghanaians, the NDC Germany Chapter is urging the Minority group in parliament not to relent in their efforts to keep the inactive Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led government and Majority group on their toes and continue to seek the interests of Ghanaians in their parliamentary duties as expected of all MPs.

It also wants Ghanaians to strongly protest what it says is regressive, punitive, draconian, killer 2022 budget and not leave the fight solely in the hands of the Minority group to expose the inconsiderate, mean, and insensitive governing NPP.

Read the full statement below:

NDC Germany Chapter condemns attitude of the Majority Group in Parliament on the 2022 Budget

We strongly condemn the appalling and egoistic attitude of the Majority group in parliament with respect to the so-called approval of the rejected government financial and policy statement (2022 budget). It is indeed apparent that the Majority group in Parliament is still living in the old days as the Majority party in the seventh parliament and has clearly forgotten that the current eighth parliament is a hung one and requires serious consensus building from both aisles of parliament. This means that the Majority cannot always have their WAY and the Minority have their SAY in this current parliamentary dispensation!

Since the finance minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the 2022 budget to parliament on 17th November 2021, it was unambiguously understood by many Ghanaians, including those of us in the diaspora that the 2022 budget is indeed a killer budget or ‘Awudie’ budget and cannot be coined as ‘Agyenkwa’ budget as claimed by the finance minister. The content of the 2022 budget rather imposes unimaginable hardships on the ordinary and vulnerable Ghanaians who are already saddled with soaring fuel prices and its associated impact on the general cost of living coupled with the mismanagement of the economy by the super-incompetent Akufo- Bawumia-led government. This government appears to be looking for every avenue to milk ordinary Ghanaians of every pesewa to stuff their stomachs and line their own pockets. Indeed, the so-called Agyenkwa budget signals no glimmer of hope for ordinary Ghanaians. Unsurprisingly, it was revealed in Appendix 4B, page 242 of the 2022 budget that over 241 million GHc has been earmarked annually as fees for e-levy transaction services if approved by parliament.

We have been keenly watching the killer budget debates on the floor of parliament. Like many other Ghanaians, we in the diaspora have been scandalized by the disgraceful and indecorous behavior of the Majority group on the floor of parliament by staging an unprecedented and shameful walk-out on Friday, 26th November 2021 with flimsy excuses of blaming the indefatigable Speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, and demanding the NDC General Secretary, Hon. Asiedu Nketiah to vamoose from the public gallery. It was obvious that the Majority group did not even have their 137 MPs present in the House for a vote on Friday.

The Minority group in parliament led by Hon. Haruna Iddrisu deserves ample commendation for their superior arguments regarding the content of the 2022 budget on the floor of parliament. The Minority group raised 5 major issues of national importance in the 2022 budget which are in consonance with the wishes of almost all Ghanaians. For instance, we completely agree with the Minority group calling for the zero percent e-levy (no ‘Momo’ tax or ‘Bawumia’ tax), no smuggling of Agyapa deal into the budget document, streamlining the language on the Aker Energy deal, a budgetary allocation for the people of Keta in the Volta region and 15% tax increases in all public institutions are non-negotiable. This amply demonstrates that the Minority group is fighting for the masses but not just seeking parochial political aggrandizement. Although these stated issues raised by the Minority group will negatively affect every Ghanaian including NPP members, we find it highly unfortunate and unbecoming of the NPP Majority group to refuse to negotiate with the Minority group, leading to the rejection of the wicked 2022 budget by the Minority side because those 5 relevant issues have not been addressed by the Majority side for unanimous approval of the 2022 budget.

As if this shameful conduct of the Majority group on Friday, 26th November 2021 was not enough, they went ahead on Tuesday, 30th November 2021 on a motion of recission to overturn a legitimate rejection of the 2022 budget! As for the 1st deputy Speaker, Hon. Joseph Osei-Owusu, the least said about him the better! Based on his conduct on the said day, he does not even deserve to be addressed by MPs as ‘Mr. Speaker’ because he himself said he is not ‘the Speaker’ and impliedly, he does not assume the powers and privileges of the Speaker when presiding. Worryingly, he went ahead to dabble in illegality to overturn Rt. Hon. Bagbin’s ruling and lawful parliamentary rejection of the 2022 budget. Article 109(3) of the 1992 constitution clearly says that "A Deputy Speaker or any other Member presiding shall not retain his original and casting vote while presiding." and cannot be added to form a quorum. While this is crystal clear, the NPP MPs including the 1st Deputy Speaker chose to blatantly flout this unambiguous provision in the constitution and took part in illegality. They were all aware of what they were doing. Indeed, the so-called approved 2022 budget by the Majority group on Tuesday was indeed legally, constitutionally, and procedurally wrong and it is of no effect whatsoever!

We in the diaspora and many Ghanaians alike are tired of the frequent chaotic scenes in parliament and admonish this august parliament to build durable consensus and recognize that this current hung parliament can no longer accommodate ‘business as usual’ mentality in the House! The earlier the Majority side realizes this reality and works with the Minority side the better for their executive arm to govern the country for the next three years. We find it highly unconscionable for the government to always blame their poor performance on the covid-19 pandemic as covid-19 has not only affected Ghana in the world.

We have a few rhetorical questions bordering our minds: 1. Which government will be opaque to its people in terms of accountability for taxes collected and turn around to slap the same people with more outrageous taxes? 2. Is this the visionary leadership that Akuffo-Addo and the NPP promised Ghanaians before coming into the office from 2017 till now after they demonized President Mahama who was seriously building Ghana? 3. Where are the wise men and women who are so quiet under this government?

Looking into the future, we strongly urge the Minority group in parliament not to relent in their efforts to keep the inactive Akuffo-Addo-Bawumia-led government and Majority group on their toes and continue to seek the interests of Ghanaians in their parliamentary duties as expected of all MPs. The autocratic governance style of President Akufo-Addo should not be condoned at all in and out of parliament any longer! We also call on the generality of Ghanaians to strongly protest this regressive, punitive, draconian, killer 2022 budget but not leave the fight solely in the hands of the Minority group to expose the inconsiderate, mean, and insensitive governing NPP!

Signed

Issued by

NDC Germany Chapter

Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo
Eric Nana Yaw Kwafo

Journalist

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