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09.03.2005 General News

Parliament gives approval to 2005 budget

By GNA

Accra, March 9, GNA - Parliament by a majority decision on Wednesday approved the budget and Financial Policy of the government for the year ending December 31, 2005 after a marathon debate.

Earlier, the Minority had called on the House to reject the budget through an amendment motion, saying, the approval of the budget statement moved by Finance Minister, Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu on February 24, would bring untold hardship on Ghanaians.

According to the Minority, there was the need for government to review portions of the budget to make it more pro-poor and gender sensitive.

A hundred and seven members from the Majority side however voted to reject to the amendment motion, while and 80 members from the Minority voted in favour of the motion tabled by Mr Moses Asaga, NDC-Nabdam and seconded by Dr Kwame Ampofo, NDC-North Dayi.

The Minority said this year's budget failed to address "urgent economic problems of the country" such as the intolerable hardships faced by the ordinary Ghanaian because of increases in prices of petroleum.

They said the high rate of unemployment, the continued charging of the National Reconstruction Levy, the introduction of other new taxes coupled with the high cost of education from secondary school level upwards were reasons enough for the rejection of the budget. After a lengthy debate, the Majority had their way when the House finally gave approval to the budget concluding the debate on the Financial Policy of the government.

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