The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has said Parliament is broke, thus lacks adequate funds to run its operations.
He attributed this to the delay in the disbursement of funds by the Finance Ministry.
Addressing the House on Thursday, May 26, Mr. Bagbin cautioned the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, against treating Parliament like a Ministry or a District Assembly.
“It’s not easy. So, sometimes we see your requests for me to approve for you to do some things I had declined. It’s not because I love declining your requests; it’s because we don’t have the wherewithal to fund those operations.
“I think the Minister of Finance should not treat Parliament like a Ministry or MMDA – I will emphasise this again,” he said.
According to the Speaker, the situation can halt activities of the House if not checked and addressed immediately.
He revealed that the Ministry has written to leadership of the House, asking for a 50% reduction in budgetary allocations.
“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 areas, by 50% and so if they want Parliament to run aground, they should let us know.
“The Speaker is not ready and prepared to be blamed for inability to get Parliament work going on just because we are not getting the necessary funds. Others will have some hesitation saying this; I don’t have,” he stated unequivocally.
In a quick response to this, the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, assured Parliament of government’s commitment to release the necessary funds for the effective running of the House.