The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson says his side will block any attempts by the government to increase taxes during the mid-year budget review.
According to him, the NDC MPs will ensure government reduces its expenditure instead of impoverishing the already suffering Ghanaians.
He insisted that there is a massive room for expenditure cuts.
“I won’t be surprised if the government introduces new measures because if you read the MEFP, the IMF is asking for additional measures of about 1% of GDP and I don’t know where that is going to come from.”
“If I look carefully, there is a massive room for expenditure cuts, but the government obviously is indiscipline, and they don’t seem to care.”
“They want to live large on the back of the people of Ghana. So they need to cut that kind of expenditure and if I am the one in charge or responsible, I would rather go for a cut in expenditure as against a tax measure or an increase in taxation,” he said in an interview with JoyNews.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta will July 25, present the 2023 mid-year budget review to Parliament.
This will be the first time he is doing this after the government successfully signed onto an IMF deal.
Ahead of that, industry players have already asked the government to use the opportunity to remove some tax handles.
The taxes include the tax on sanitary pads amongst others.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) will from Tuesday, July 11 open nominations for parliamentary primaries in constituencies where the party has no representation.
The nomination will close on Thursday, August 10 with elections expected to be held from September to December.
The party indicates that male aspiring parliamentary candidates must submit a non-refundable filing fee of GH¢35,000 while women and persons with disabilities would pay 50% of the fee.
Aspirants have been urged to act according to the dictates of the party’s constitution and use the appropriate procedure to channel any grievances that may arise.
Source : citinewsroom.com
The Minority in Parliament has once again boycotted business activities in Parliament in support of the trial of James Gyakye Quayson, the Member of Parliament for Assin North.
The High Court in Accra is set to deliver a ruling on the application for a stay of proceedings in the case involving the legislator, who is facing charges of forgery and perjury.
Lawyers representing the embattled MP have submitted a request for the court to halt proceedings, allowing the Court of Appeal to review the trial judge’s decision to conduct the case on a daily basis.
In a show of solidarity, the Minority caucus has decided to forgo Parliamentary proceedings and accompany their fellow member to the court.
This is the second time Minority MPs have abandoned Parliamentary work to accompany their colleague in Parliament.
According to the caucus, the trial of Mr Gyakye Quayson is unfair and must be dropped by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice.
Source : citinewsroom.com
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin wants the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to consider presenting the Mid-year budget review before July 27, 2023, as the House intends to adjourn sine die on August 3, 2023.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had earlier announced that the mid-year budget presentation was scheduled for July 27 with the house expected to adjourn on August 9, 2023.
But the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin says the House cannot sit beyond August 3 due to some other urgent commitments.
“The House has to rise before August 9 because there are commitments that the House cannot ignore which we will have to be part of. Some of these commitments are international and some are domestic, so we have to be on recess before that. So this is a notice to the Minister of Finance to try as much as possible to submit the mid-year Budget and Supplementary Budget Review earlier than being perceived because we have to work on it and approve it before August 10.”
“And so the last day we could get to convene and sit here could be only August 3, and we cannot go beyond that because even with the August 3, we would have been late to attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association [programme].”
Source : citinewsroom.com
HON. ABLAKWA SPEAKS
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says the Minority in Parliament is not ready to back down on its decision to abandon the legislature in solidarity with two of their colleagues facing criminal charges in the courts.
The Minority members boycotted parliamentary proceedings today, Thursday, July 6, to solidarise with their leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson and Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson over their respective trials.
Speaking on Fresh fm on Thursday, Mr. Ablakwa said the Minority members will only resume full duties if the persecution of their members is halted.
“We are saying that we now have to scale up, we are no longer going to adopt the business-as-usual approach. If they would stop the persecution, if they will stop the witch-hunt, then we can sit down and build consensus,” he told Evans Mensah.
The NDC accused President Akufo-Addo of making prejudicial comments about the Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson’s criminal trial prior to his re-election at the by-election.
While campaigning for Charles Opoku, the President urged the people of Assin North not to make a mistake by voting for the NDC’s parliamentary candidate in the by-election.
The President suggested that James Gyakye Quayson cannot deliver on the duties expected of him as a Member of Parliament because he could end up in jail due to the criminal trial he is facing, leaving the Constituency without an MP.
On the back of these comments, Mr Ablakwa said “after listening to the President, it is so clear that this is a kangaroo process, this is a political witch-hunt and there is a clear attempt to prosecute political opponents, particularly in the era of hung Parliament so that they can weigh their options in a by-election and see if they can snatch the seat and get a comfortable majority.”
The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee said although the Minority is not enthused about neglecting their parliamentary duties, they have no option under the circumstances.
He, however, stated that the rank and file of the party and their constituents are backing them up on their resolution.
“Since the Minority Leader’s announcement, I can assure you that I was in the constituency over the weekend and I arrived to a rousing welcome…they say that it’s even been too long in coming,” he said.
About the respective cases
Dr Ato Forson is facing a trial in relation an alleged financial loss of €2.37 million to the state. The case involves a deal to purchase 200 ambulances between 2014 and 2016.
Mr Quayson is being tried for forgery and perjury after he was charged by the Attorney-General’s Office.
He is also accused of deceiving a public officer and knowingly making a false declaration when he filed nominations to contest in the 2020 election when he had not renounced his Canadian citizenship.
However, he has filed a motion on notice at the High Court for a stay of proceedings, pending an appeal.
It’s easier to ‘break the 8’ with Alan – Amewu
The Minister for Railways Development and Member of Parliament for the Hohoe Constituency, John Peter Amewu, says the New Patriotic Party (NPP) stands a better chance of winning the 2023 polls if it elects Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen as its presidential candidate.
According to the former Energy Minister, the NPP’s political opponents cannot attack the image and integrity of Mr Kyerematen because he is not taited in anyway.
The only NPP MP in the Volta Region on Wednesday, 5th July, 2023 spoke highly of Mr Kyerematen’s reputation
at a campaign event at the UPSA Conference Hall in Madina, Accra.
Speaking on the second day of Mr Kyerematen’s ‘delegates cluster meetings’, Mr Amewu urged delegates to rally behind Alan to save the party from unwanted personal attacks on their presidential candidate by the NDC.
The event served as a platform for NPP delegates from Adenta, Madina and Shai Osu Doku, to engage with Mr Kyerematen on his plans for the party and the country at large.
Peter Amewu advised the delegates that electing Mr Kyerematen as the flagbearer would make it far easier for the NPP “to break the eight.”
He said of all the aspirants vying to lead the NPP, Mr Kyerematen was the least attacked by opponents because he had a clean record whilst in office.
“We are presenting to you a candidate that would make our work very easy… I am from the Volta Region, and I am saying the love for Alan in the region is huge, and he is the one that can break the dominance of the NDC in the region” he added.
He said the fact that the NDC cannot find anything to discredit Mr Kyerematen is sufficient grounds for party delegates to endorse him, and asked the party machinery to look beyond the internal primaries to the larger contest with the NDC, if they are bent on ‘breaking the 8.’
Mr Alan Kyerematen on Wednesday, 5th July, 2023, asked delegates of the party to choose him as their presidential candidate as he stands the best chance of winning the presidency in 2024.
Speaking to party delegates at Dome-Kwabenya and Ayawaso West Wuogon, he said his track record in both the party and government makes him the best among all the other flagbearer aspirants.
The former Trade and Industry Minister cited his innovative works that birthed the Presidential Special Initiatives under John Agyekum Kufuor, and the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative under Nana Akufo-Addo as evidence of the transformation that he could bring to the nation when given the nod.
He mentioned his unblemished persona in political life and hardworking nature as some of the features that sets him apart from his peers.
Alan first made an attempt to lead the NPP in 2007, where he polled 32.3 per cent of votes as against the winner, Nana Akufo-Addo who gained 47.96 per cent.
He made two more attempts in 2010 and 2014 but came second to Akufo-Addo, who won both primaries again.
Mr Kyerematen, 68, was an Ambassador of Ghana to the United States and later Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development (PSD) and the Presidential Special Initiatives (PSI), under the President John Kufuor-led NPP government.
He served as a trade advisor at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he coordinated the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC).
The governing NPP’s presidential primaries scheduled for November this year, is seen as a straight contest between Alan and the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.