The Minority in Parliament has started making moves that suggest it will oppose several of the government’s policy recommendations in the budget statement for 2023.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the North Tongu MP, claims that the events on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, were merely the conclusion of the discussion and approval of the policy statement that made up phase 1 of the four preceding phases, Appropriation.
Mr Ablakwa said the Minority need to consider the estimates of the various Ministries, Departments, Agencies and other Cost Centers “where controversial allocations such as the GHS1.4billion for Contingency Vote, GHS 80 million for National Cathedral, GHS 10 million for so-called Defonce Advisory Services, would come under surgical scrutiny for a possible rejection or downward review as the case may be”.
The MP, in a brief statement in responding to the public that the 2023 Budget has been passed, added that “we shall then move into the 3rd stage to consider the revenue bills. This is where the government’s proposed obnoxious 2.5% VAT increase and the e-Levy threshold removal will be presented to the House as Bills requiring Parliamentary decision”, as he stressed the fact that “The NDC Caucus has already indicated we shall be voting against these revenue Bills”.
Mr Ablakwa was quick, however, to add that “Ghanaians did not give the NDC a Parliamentary Majority, neither is it an NDC President destroying our economy and introducing bitter policies to further impoverish the citizenry; nonetheless, we shall discharge our duties with utmost integrity, a good conscience, respect and solidarity with the suffering Ghanaians we represent.”
In a related development, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said his side is firm on shooting down a number of tax measures introduced when it begins to consider various estimates of ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) at the committee level and the possibility to frustrate the passage of the Appropriation Bill into an Act to allow the Finance Minister to spend how much had been allocated to him.
Addressing the media on a similar subject matter in Parliament on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, Mr Iddrisu said, “We are not for the 2.5% VAT increment and the debt restructuring programme because the latter is not consistent with the contractual law and obligations. We are for expenditure cut.”