Why are you starving Parliament of funds? - Bagbin asks Finance Ministry

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has bemoaned the delay in providing funds for the house.

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin

He said the Ministry of Finance has withheld funds from the house for a while and the situation has become dire.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament, the Speaker said the Ministry is treating Parliament like a municipal assembly.

“It is not because I like declining your requests. It is because we don’t have the wherewithal to fund those operations.”

Mr. Bagbin also suggested that Parliament was deserving of more respect than it currently got.

“The Ministry of Finance should not treat Parliament like a ministry or NGO,” he said.

“This is an arm of government. We are not part of the MMDAs. We have even been written to, to reduce our budget in some cases by 50 percent,” he complained.

He further stressed that he would take responsibility for these financial constraints.

“If they want Parliament to run aground, they should let us know. The Speaker is not ready and prepared to be blamed for the inability to get Parliament going on just because we are not getting the necessary funding.”

Alban Bagbin recently blamed the double salary saga by some National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs to the laxity in the system.

Bagbin addressing Parliamentarians after it resumed sitting on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, said "It is important for us to erase the perception of the public on these matters of an overpayment which is politically called double salaries."

"It is a weakness in the system...All the committees have commented on the matter.

"That's the experience from 1993 till date, and it has led to these unfortunate overpayments due to the weakness of the system," Bagbin said.

His reactions come following the case involving former ministers and appointees in the administration of former President John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government who were caught in the alleged double salary scandal.

The MPs taking double salary was triggered following an audit of the payroll data from the office of the President as well as another review at the Parliamentary Service Board from 2012 through 2016.

The audit reports showed that certain former appointees doubling as MPs, who at various points also served as ministers or deputy ministers received double salaries at least once a month or throughout the four-year tenure under review.

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