- The austere 2023 budget has been approved by Parliament on Tuesday, December 6, 2022
- The Minority had vowed to resist the passage of the budget statement for next year because it was cruel and empty
- However, due to low numbers by the Minority, the Majority passed the budget statement through a voice vote
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A low turn out by the Minority legislators in Parliament on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 may have given the Majority an advantage to push through the controversial 2023 budget statement.
The Minority had vowed to resist the passage of the budget statement for next year because it was empty and cruel.
They promised Ghanaians that they will seek their interest and correct cruel proposals in the statement, like a 2.5% hike in value added tax, but that seems like mere talk and no action.
Minority legislator and a ranking member on the finance committee of Parliament Dr Cassiel Ato Forson described the 2023 budget as empty and full of grammar.
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Shortly after the budget was presented on Thursday, November 24, 2022 he said president Nana Akufo-Addo's policy document will compound the hardships of citizens.
However, after the three days of debates on the budget that were dogged by low numbers of legislators from both the Majority and Minority sides, the budget passed swiftly.
After the debate, the question of the budget and economic policy statement was put by Speaker, Alban Bagbin.
According to the Joy News reporter, Kweku Asante, the Speaker had to pose the question twice for a voice vote and concluded that the “ayes’ have it”.
The low numbers of Minority MPs, allowed the Majority to approve the budget statement.
Many Ghanaians had hoped that the near-equal numbers of MPs on the Minority and Majority sides would enable this 8th Parliament to play its oversight role more efficiently but that has been a false hope.
2023 Budget: Minority Lists Five Conditions Akufo-Addo Must Meet Before They Approve Policy Statement
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh reported in a previous story that Minority legislators listed five demands that president Akufo-Addo must meet before they approve the 2023 budget statement presented by the finance minister.
At a press conference on Monday, December 5, 2022 the minority leader Haruna Iddrisu said the proposals in the Domestic Debt Exchange programme announced by the minister not long ago was unacceptable.
He said his side rejects the debt restructuring proposals and would fight its implementation.
He then proceeded to list five conditions that the president must meet before the Minority backs policy proposals contained in the 2023 budget as follows:
1. The immediate sacking or resignation of Ken Ofori-Atta as the finance minister for plunging the Ghanaian economy into a crisis;
2. Dissolution of the Dr Mahamudu Bawumia-led Economic Management Team and his resignation as vice president for doing a poor job;
3. Reversal of the removal of the GH¢100 threshold for E-Levy payment as contained in the 2023 budget;
4. Reduction in the number of Akufo-Addo appointees. They want the number of ministers and political appointees at the Office of the President reduced to at least half the present number;
5. Removal of all non-essential expenditures in the 2023 budget including some GH¢80 million allocated for works on the controversial national cathedral project.
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