General News of Thursday, 12 March 2015
The Minority in Parliament has cautioned government not to risk the reputation of the country with the “games” it is playing with the 2015 budget following the signing of a bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Minority reported that the Finance Minister was planning to present to Ghana’s Legislature, a revised 2015 budget in line with government’s negotiations with the IMF.
But the Majority leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin in an exclusive interview with Citi FM’s Richard Sky, dismissed the opposition claims with the explanation that the Finance Minister will just make a “statement on the floor of Parliament about the implications on the 2015 budget of the fall of oil prices” as well as “brief Ghanaians on the final performance of the 2015 budget.”
Mr. Bagbin also stated that the Minority MPs have been misled by the last business committee report which programmed the Minister to come and present a budget review”
In response, however, the Minority spokesperson on Finance, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News charged the government to be truthful with the citizenry on its true intentions.
He vehemently denied that the Minority MPs were misled saying, “We have not been misled. The business paper that was presented to us was a paper laid on the supplementary budget and there was a motion to adopt a reviewed budget. That was what was given to us.”
“We have not had any change in the business statement…so I don’t know what the majority leader is talking about…so I don’t understand why the Minister now is going to present a statement,” he explained.
Dr. Akoto Osei warned that they will not allow the Majority leader to “play games” because “if it was just a matter of review, they could have done it in July. It’s ridiculous!”
He advised the government not to be “toying with our nation. The bottom line is that we have to rescind our earlier decision and approve a new budget…and so if that is what the Majority leader is saying, then I’m sorry, as leader of government business, ask him; the one we approved in December and the one the Minister is bringing, there will be changes so which budget will be binding?”
“Let us not jeopardize Ghana’s reputation with games. If the Minister comes and what he brings is different from what we approved, then that statement is irrelevant,” he fumed.
Dr. Akoto Osei charged Ghanaians to care about the rule of law and the “people playing games with us…let us tell Ghanaians the truth. It means that the old budget is being thrown out of the window and there is a new budget…if it is just a review, why don’t you wait till July?”