Source: Ben LARYEA
The Center for Excellence Leadership and Accountable Governance, a Civil Society Organization (CSO) has advised the house of Parliament to engage in deeper consultation towards the 2022 budget among the Majority and the Minority in passing the budget since it has sharply divided the house as well as the citizenry in the governance of the country.
It has however stressed that for transparency’s sake and accountable governance all members of the house of Parliament be present in passing the budget and must be done on non-partisan lines.
Addressing a news conference in Accra, the Executive Director of Center for Excellence Leadership and Accountable Governance, Dr. Z.O. Hunter said government must take a second look at the E-levy imposed on goods and services and explained however that the citizenry is already burdened with various taxes hence the revisit will relief to the Ghanaian populace.
He therefore called for a holistic approach in addressing pertinent issues in the budget and urged both parties to review the taxes particularly the abolition of the toll booth levy and pointed out that the move have led to massive unemployment bringing pressure on the already existing job challenges.
According to him, alternative livelihood be put in place prior to the scraping of the toll levy, adding that the country is not in normal times and stressed further that the recent economic challenges is having a devastating effect on many institutions across the country and as a result scores of employees have been laid off.
“it is the citizenry that suffers and particularly those at the grassroot hence their plight must be well factored in the preparation of the budget”, and explained that taxes must not forcibly be imposed on Ghanaians on the backdrop of generating money internally from the public for social and economic growth and development.
“Government for that matter members of Parliament must demonstrate due diligence of making inputs in all budgets with the primary purpose of placing the grassroots at a level where life will be comfortable and ensure also that the purchasing power is within their reach thus some sanity must be exhibited in subsequent presentation of budget for a better debate to the populace.
It would be recalled that the budget was first rejected after a walk from the Majority side in Parliament and this was then overturned by the First Deputy Speaker, Mr. Joseph Osei Owusu, who was serving as the Speaker of Parliament, after he included himself in the total number of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House.
His inclusion pushed the number of the Majority Caucus MPs to 138, one more than the Minority and the Frist Deputy Speaker then pushed for the motion and contended that the rejection of the budget by the Minority was erroneous and insisted that there was no clear Majority in the House during the proceedings.
What followed has been a debate over whether Mr. Owusu was in his right to retain the privileges of an MP for a vote while serving as the Speaker of the House.