Speaker Alban Bagbin has threatened to block the 2021 budget from being approved if nothing is done about a slash in Parliament’s allocation.
Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has served notice to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that he is not going to accept a reduction in the budgetary allocation to Parliament else the full 2021 budget would not be approved by the House.
On Tuesday 16 March 2021, Bagbin disclosed that the budgetary allocation for Parliament has been reduced by over GHC119 million.
“Respectfully, I’m unable to accept such reduction,” the former Nadowli-Kaleo MP said on the floor during the debate on the 2021 budget.
According to him, the right thing must be done else Parliament will also block the budget from being approved.
At the commencement of sitting on Tuesday, Bagbin read out two separate letters in respect of the budget estimates to Parliament and the Parliamentary Service as well as the Judiciary.
The Speaker informed the House that he has officially replied the president asking him to reconsider the decision to slash the budgetary allocation to the House, which is in dire need of adequate funding to function effectively.
“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 negotiate during the deliberations of the budget before the House… It’s not for the executive to impose ceiling on the Judiciary or Parliament. We’ve to do the right thing,” he said.
“So far as I remain the Speaker of this House, I’ll insist that the right thing is done.”
He threatened not to forward the appropriation bill to the president for his assent when passed if “the right thing is not done.”
He added: “And so during the considerations of the [budget] estimate, particularly the committees concerned, take that on board and at the end of the day come and explain to us the negotiated figure and not the ceiling that has been given by the president, that is not the internment of the 1992 Constitution.
“If you do otherwise, I as your Speaker will not affirm any letter for submission to the President for his assent, I mean what I am saying.”