The Speaker of the 8th Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban S.K Bagbin, has reiterated his resolve to discharge his mandate without fear or favor.
The Speaker of the hung Parliament, who was addressing the House on Thursday, December 16, 2021, said though he does not seek to frustrate government business, he will not compromise on serving the interest of Ghanaians.
“Let me reiterate my solemn pledge to the people of Ghana, which I canvassed in my first formal communication to this House, that, I will not superintend over a Parliament to frustrate government business, but, I will equally not preside over a weak House or be tagged as an errand boy of the Executive arm of government.”
“This House is fully focused in discharging its mandate and will do so without any fear or favor, affection or ill-will in ensuring the ultimate best interests of the Ghanaian people are served,” he said.
Mr. Bagbin further urged MPs to continue to strengthen channels of communication, foster dialogue, encourage broader stakeholder consultation and allow the processes they have adopted “for our burgeoning democracy to thrive.”
The Minority Caucus in Parliament has indicated its strong resolve to reject the government’s proposed 1.75% E-levy in its entirety.
It said it will kick against the levy in any shape or form since it will inflict more hardship on Ghanaians.
“It is true that we engaged. We were part of the engagement, but at that engagement, regrettably and unfortunately, on the matter of e-levy we could not have agreement and consensus.”
“We believe that the e-levy is punitive, and will undermine our quest to grow a digital economy in seeking to tax transactions,” the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said in Parliament on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.
Meanwhile, the Majority Caucus has also said the e-levy is the only means the government can raise revenue to meet the demands of Ghanaians aside from borrowing.
Commenting on these issues, the Asantehene, Otumfuor Nana Osei Tutu II, over the weekend advised legislators not to use their entrenched positions to frustrate the government from performing its legitimate duties.
According to him, lawmakers are only representatives of the people, and it was not their duty to determine policies for the government.
“We elect people to represent us to make sure there is some equilibrium in what governments do. It is to our good that our representatives in Parliament subject the national budget to the most rigorous scrutiny and to call for changes.”
“Government must also have the humility to acknowledge and embrace the useful inputs from all sources, but our representatives need to bear in mind that it is not their role to either determine policy or to frustrate the executive from performing their legitimate duties.”