According to Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka as a result of the prevailing situation, MPs cannot open their mouth to talk about salaries and it is needless for members of the Majority to continue to defend the government.
Alban Bagbin, on Friday, May 27, stated that Parliament does not have the wherewithal to fund some of its operations.
He attributed the development to the delay by the Ministry of Finance to release the needed funds to Parliament.
“Parliament is currently being run on arrears and the House should not be treated as one of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),” he said.
The Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, debunked the Speaker’s assertion and stated at a press conference that an outstanding amount of GH₵25 million allocation for goods and services for Parliament had been released while the Speaker was telling the whole world that the institution is broke.
But speaking on JoyNews‘ PM Express on Monday, May 30, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka explained, “As we speak, money for 2022, apart from salaries, not a dime has been released. Even what was released last week, after Speaker’s comment, was part of the outstanding for 2021.
“If you ask the Members of Parliament they will tell you that MPs cannot open their mouths to talk about salaries. Today is 30th, I know many civil and public servants have received their salaries. If you are in this house, the earliest you should expect, sometimes, a week after the month has ended… 5th, 7th, sometimes, 10th. At the peak of the E-Levy. It came after 15 days. You say you won’t allow E-Levy so they don’t have money to pay.”
The Minority Chief Whip noted that the situation has also affected the printing of Parliamentary Hansard and reports, “When we return from recess, we expect all the official reports to be updated. We went on recess on the 5th of April. So we come back on 24th of May. On that day, you expect all the records to be updated. But even as of 26th, the latest we had was 22nd March.
“I raised the issue that, Mr. Speaker, (that) this is unusual. That we don’t have all the official reports. It has been over a year now. In this House, our printing gadgets were going down. The time to replace them was due. Now they cannot even print quick, because a lot of the machines are down. Now we are still struggling to come out with March official reports. If we are not careful, that of May will start coming when Parliament is on recess again in July. Why? There are no resources to do that.”
Muntaka stressed that the official record of debates in the House is critical because “these official reports are what we as members of Parliament, that you take and read and if there are any controversial issues you resolve them. The challenge is that these have to be corrected to get the final one… Things happened in March, we are in May. This week we will go into June. And you bring me March issues that were raised and debated, say in July and I say this is not what I exactly said, you are going to put the house into confusion.”