Debate must be spot on; no unnecessary heckling – Speaker to MPs

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has sent a word of caution to all Members of Parliament (MPs) wanting to debate the 2018 Budget statement to be apt in their delivery since he would not allow any unnecessary deviations from what was presented to the House by the Finance Minister on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

“I will not allow any unnecessary deviations or attempts to stifle the debate. I want you to research well and so I will urge you to bring your point of corrections and source of materials or information to the House so that when challenged, you could substantiate your claims”, he noted.

Delivering the keynote address at the opening of a three-day post-budget workshop for selected MPs in Koforidua, Saturday, Speaker Oquaye urged the honourable Members not to worry about the whole gamut of the budget statement but be selective on the various sectors of the economy when debating the 2018 budget and economic policy statement of the government.

For instance, he said a Member could either choose to speak on the agricultural sector or a broad topic on whether the whole budget is gender friendly.

“You don’t have to be Jack of all trade. If you want to speak on agriculture, kindly get your facts right, especially, on past and present statistics to make a good case”, he averred.

Speaker Oquaye further urged Members that while researching not to look any further than the Hansard to enrich their debate.

The post-budget workshop is expected to equip Members with the requisit knowledge to raise critical sector issues in the budget.

It is also expected to enable Members examine and scrutinize government policies captured in the 2018 budget statement.

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