Parliament approves 2022 budget statement without minority

Parliament approved the Government’s Budget Statement and Economic Policy for 2022 presented by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on November 17.

The budget was approved in the absence of the minority deputies, who refused to take part in the business of the day.

In their absence, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta resubmitted a revised version of the 2022 budget, which was unanimously approved by majority MPs, including the president.

Today’s session has been delayed by hours of meetings between majority and minority leaders to explore how to remedy what the majority has called President Alban Bagbin unconstitutional.

The majority accused Mr Bagbin of breaching the 1992 constitution after saying 137 MPs took the decision to reject the budget last Friday.

According to the majority, the law fails to meet the constitutional requirement of 138 MPs present in the House before a decision can be made.

For most of Tuesday morning, majority-minority talks in parliament over the rejected budget broke down.

Talks have been going on in parliament for several hours in a desperate attempt to reach consensus on the rejected budget.

JoyNews understands that entrenched positions around the controversial e-tax have been the main divisive issue.

The Minority Caucus called for the proposed levy to be withdrawn.

JoyNews understands that the majority backed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who entered the meeting around midday, had agreed to reduce the proposed levy from 1.75% to 1.5%.

There was a stalemate as the minority left the House.

On a motion by Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and a vote of the House, First Vice President, Joseph Osei Owusu ruled that the earlier ruling was wrong and in violation of Rule 104(1) and the struck off the record.

Parliament then proceeded to consider the motion on the budget and then approved it.

First Vice President Joseph Osei Owusu considered himself an MP, making the House majority caucus 138 members.

The House will now consider budget estimates in the coming weeks for specific sectors of the economy before the supply bill is passed.

This will give the government the green light to spend according to the appropriations provided for in the budget.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, in closing the debate, highlighted how the government will take into account the concerns raised by the minority when approving estimates, revenue bills and appropriations.

Dorothy H. Lewis