MP calls out members on Extravagance

Accra, Nov. 23, GNA - The Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Mr Kwaku Kwarteng has urged parliamentarians to take the lead in embracing frugality as a means of cutting down public expenditure.

As representatives of the Ghanaian people, he said Parliament should not just not serve as an oversight of the executive but must practice what they preach.

“It is not enough for an Member of Parliament (MP) to be out there calling out the executive and asking them to demonstrate commitment to fiscal prudence when we ourselves must set the example.

“Are there ways the leadership of Parliament can cut costs as Ghana seeks to bridge the gap between our revenue and expenditures? Are there ways for us to lead by example?” he asked.

He also proposed a capping for the number of MPs for the country while urging Parliament to commit itself to desist from sole sourcing parliamentary procurements, which most times tend to be wasteful.

“We cannot continue administration after administration to be creating districts, constituencies, and more members of parliament and be increasing the budget,” he said.

The New Patriotic Party MP for Obuasi West Constituency made the remarks when he seconded the motion for the start of the debate on policy initiatives of the 2022 Economic Policy and Budget Statement in Parliament on Tuesday.

He called on the opposition National Democratic Congress to support the 2022 budget which he mentioned had some cost-cutting interventions aimed at revitalising the economy.

These he mentioned included the move from sole sourcing to competitive tendering, initiatives to improve the efficiency of public sector project financing, cancellation of post-retirement contracts, payroll clean up, and rationalisation among others.

Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the MP for Ajumako Enyan Esiam Constituency, however, expressed his disapproval of the budget which he said was insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians.

The issues of slow real sector growth, rising unemployment, high inflation, and debt overhand syndrome he said do not create room for the imposition of new levies and taxes on Ghanaians.

In its bid to raise revenue he advised the government against taxing remittances as that would serve as an incentive to divert funds from the normal banking to other unofficial channels.

He further called on the government to rescind its decision to review benchmark values, taxing mobile money transactions and taxing bank transfers.