Parliament approves the 2022 Budget
A crunch meeting between the two sides in Parliament on Friday to find common ground on the 2022 Budget ended in a stalemate.
Parliament has quashed the earlier rejection of the 2022 Budget and voted to approve the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government.
The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who presided over the sitting, says the decision taken by the House last Friday in rejecting the 2022 Budget was not valid, because it did not satisfy the Standing Orders provision which mandates one half of members to be present to take such decisions.
The First Deputy Speaker explained that his presence in the chamber today (Tuesday 30 November) brought the total number to 138: enough to take a decision because he is also a sitting Member of Parliament.
The Minority boycotted today’s sitting. The Speaker explained that not all 138 members present were mandated to support a motion but a majority would ensure its passage.
The Majority side had earlier accused the Speaker of the House, Alban Bagbin, of acting in breach of the 1992 constitution after he claimed that the Budget had fallen because 137 MPs had taken a decision to reject it – an action that fell short of the constitutional requirement of 138 MPs present in the House before a decision can be made.
Today’s sitting was delayed by hours of meetings between the Majority and Minority leadership, aimed at exploring how to cure the unconstitutionality committed by Speaker Bagbin and the 137 Minority MPs.
Following a motion by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, and a vote by the House, the sitting Speaker ruled that the earlier decision was in error and in violation of Article 104 (1) and caused it to be expunged from the record.
Parliament proceeded to consider the motion on the Budget properly and approved it.
Parliament will now consider the Budget estimates in the coming weeks for specific sectors of the economy. The Appropriation Bill will then be passed to give the government the green light to spend according to monies appropriated in the Budget.
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, winding up the debate, highlighted how the government will accommodate the concerns raised by the Minority in relation to the approval of estimates, revenue bills and appropriation.