The Minority in Parliament has observed that the Executive arm of government has always denied the legislature and other arms their fair share of the budget cake.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, while supporting Speaker Alban Bagbin’s insistence that the Executive lift a cap placed on Parliament’s budget, told journalists: “Those of you who are familiar with the Constitution, we share the view that over the years, because our Constitution is heavy on an Executive presidency, the Executive has had its way with larger proportion and substantial amounts to undertake its activities but the legislature and others are being denied.”
Mr Bagbin recently expressed his reservations to President Nana Akufo-Addo with regard to the decision of the Executive to cut the budgetary allocation to Parliament and the Judiciary.
Mr Bagbin said if the Executive failed to review the allocations, the House will not approve the 2021 budget and economic statement presented on Friday, 12 March.
While the allocation for the Judiciary has been slashed by some GHS77 million, that of the Legislature has been reduced by GHS119 million.
“Respectfully, I’m unable to accept such reduction,” the Speaker said in Parliament on Tuesday, 16 March.
“The budget is not for the Executive”, he noted, adding: “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 [a] ceiling on the Judiciary or Parliament. We’ve to do the right thing,” Mr Bagbin insisted.
He said: “So far as I remain the Speaker of this House, I’ll insist that the right thing is done” and threatened not to forward the appropriation bill to the President for his assent when passed if “the right thing is not done.”
“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 [intent] 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.”