The decision by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, to insist on the removal of the capping of the budget of the legislature by the executive has paid off with the government forced to reverse its decision to slash the budget allocation of government.
Bagbin, it would be recalled, had threatened to frustrate the passage of the budget if the government does not alter its decision to slash the budget allocation of the legislature by some GHC190million.
Bagbin had accused the executive of deliberately trying to stifle the activities of parliament and prevent it from exercising its oversight responsibility.
“The budget is not for the Executive, we have the final power to approve or disapprove and so what the Constitution has done is for them to make recommendations and to negotiate during the deliberations of the budget before the House,” he said.
But in a speech read on March 24, 2021, on the floor of Parliament, Bagbin announced that “for the estimates of expenditure for Parliament and the parliamentary services, this is what we submitted, compensation was ¢201,112,086; goods and services ¢205,027,688; administrative and operational expenses at ¢406,139,774; capital expenditure (Capex) is ¢177,346,911. So the grand total is ¢583,486,685″.
He added that “what is proposed for CAPEX is GH¢117,500,000, and so instead of the GH¢583,486,685 submitted by Parliament and Parliamentary Service, what has been recommended by his excellency the President is GH¢523,639,774.
“The Government recommends that Parliament and the parliamentary service operates within the proposed budget above while government explores the opportunity to increase the allocation in subsequent budgets when revenue improves and debt has stabilized. Accordingly, Parliament is respectfully requested to keep the estimates of Parliament and the parliamentary service within the expenditure proposed above to enable the government to contain expenditures within the overall fiscal space for 2021.”
“I am drawing the attention of the Special Budget Committee to the new recommendation and to urge the committee to consider the budget estimates for Parliament and the parliamentary service along those lines,” he said.