Parliament’s Post-budget workshop should be held on the floor of the House, from Saturday, November 18 to Sunday, November 19, Mr Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament has directed.
Another MP has said if held on the floor of the House, it would save the country about GH¢1.4 million.
In his presentation of the Business Statement for the week ending Friday, November 17 2023 on Friday, November 10, Mr Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, the Vice Chairman of the Business Committee told the House that, the post-budget workshop would be held at the Rock City Hotel, Kwahu Nkwatia in the Eastern Region.
“Mr Speaker, the usual post-budget workshop will be organised to allow experts to elucidate further on the underpinnings of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government to Members.
“The workshop is expected to be held from Friday, November 17 to Sunday, November 19 at the Rock City Hotel, Kwahu Nkwatia in the Eastern Region, the Business Committee entreats all members to avail themselves at the post-budget workshop,” he said.
However, presiding over proceedings on Monday, November 13, Mr Bagbin directed that the venue for the post-budget workshop should be in Parliament House, Accra after the Members of Parliament (MP) were diverged on whether to have the workshop at the Rock City Hotel or the Volta Serene Hotel following a report by technical experts from the Speaker.
“Honourable Members, the floor of the House will be the main conference room for the post-budget workshop. MPs will be trained on how to analyse budget from sector to sector to have a healthy debate on the floor at various committee rooms.
“By the current decision of the House, we are stating that the previous decision by the Deputy Majority Leader as per the venue of the post-budget workshop has changed to Parliament House,” the Speaker said.
Meanwhile, on Friday, November 10, commenting on the Business Statement, Mr Kofi Iddie Adams, a National Democratic Congress MP for Buem called on the Leadership of Parliament to review the out-of-station post-budget workshop for MPs.
That, he explained would save the country some money in the current economic hardship faced by the country.
Mr Adams advocated for the post-budget workshop to be held within the precincts of Parliament to save resources.
“Mr Speaker, accommodating staff and other auxiliary staff of the house will make the cost of hosting the workshop outside very expensive.
“The current economic conditions of the country make it imperative for the legislature to lead by example by opting for an in-house post-budget workshop instead of hosting the event outside,” he said.
In his further address to the Parliamentary Press Corps, Mr Adams disproved statements that MPs get destracted when such events were held in Parliament House.
“…We sit in parliament to transact even more important business than just a mere workshop, we are going to debate the budget right here, do we get destracted when we sit every day to do our business? If we can do our business every day, it is possible to have the post-budget workshop here without any challenge at all,” he said.
According to him, his call if deemed would save the country “some GH¢1.4 million for accommodation just for MPs at an assumed cost of GH¢1,700 per room,” he told the Press on Friday in Parliament House.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance, would in accordance with Article 179 of the Constitution present the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the year ending on December 31, 2024 on Wednesday, November 15 to Parliament.