The Parliamentary Service is asking the public to disregard allegations by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, claiming that Speaker Bagbin threatened the Finance Minister that the House will reject the 2022 budget.
Parliamentary Service insists a Speaker of Parliament cannot approve or reject a budget.
According to the Service, that is the sole responsibility of Members of Parliament (MPs).
“Hon. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu claimed that the Rt. Hon. Speaker threatened to reject the budget if the percent GHS 1.72 billion of the total revenue of the country was not allocated to the work of the Parliamentary Service. He suggested that was why the budget was rejected.”
“This is a complete misrepresentation of what transpired at the meeting. It is not the duty of the Speaker to reject or approve budgets. Approval or rejection is determined only by Members of Parliament.”
The Parliamentary Service made this known in a statement issued on Friday, December 24, 2021.
What did the Majority Leader say?
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, at a press conference on Thursday, December 23, 2021, questioned the motives of the Speaker of Parliament in relation to the impasse that has characterized business in parliament during the just-ended budget meeting.
He also suggested that the Speaker of Parliament is carrying out plans to stall the business of the house due to his insistence on getting the Minister for Finance to allocate 1.72 billion Ghana cedis to Parliament.
Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu also disclosed that the Speaker openly confronted the Minister on November 17, 2021, before the budget reading on the need for such an amount to be allocated.
He thus blamed him for the chaos that characterizes the house anytime he isn’t presiding.
“The day when this budget came to be presented, we had to be at the Speaker’s place for close to an hour. We were not coming out. Why were we not coming out because we had a Speaker who told the Finance Minister that because we had not given Parliament an amount of GHS 1.72 billion that the Speaker had requested the Finance Minister to give to Parliament, he will ensure that the budget will be rejected.”
“He even said to him that he does not want to remind him of what his own father did to President Hilla Limann. All that is playing out is to satisfy what the Speaker indicated at the very beginning of the presentation of the budget. The people of this country ought to know the mindset of the Speaker with respect to this budget. With all that is playing out.”