A spokesperson on economic issues for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Manasseh Attah Boahene has advised Members of Parliament to prioritise national interest over their political differences.
His remarks come after a recent spat in parliament involving the MP for Nanton in the Northern Region, Mohammed Hardi Tuferi.
The MP who was involved in an accident while heading to Parliament, managed to avail himself to be part of a critical voting that saw three new revenue bills passed into law on Friday, March 31.
According to reports, the MP was in a serious condition as he lost total control after his vehicle somersaulted and landed upside down.
But speaking on Prime Morning, Mr. Attah Boahene averred that the MP’s decision was unnecessary.
Meanwhile, he thinks the Nanton MP’s persistence to be present was due to the recent position of the minority to frustrate any proposal presented before parliament by the government.
“I was saddened by the video. I was shocked when I heard the man had an accident, but I also understand it was the man who decided to come to Parliament,” he said.
Asked if he thinks putting national interest first would prevent such incidents from happening, he said, “Indeed, but you’ll recall that in recent times what has been evident is that whatever the government seeks to do, whether it’s in the interest of the country or not, you’d find the opposition opposing it just for political gains.”
However, the spokesperson does not see it as surprising that MPs have difficulties putting the interests of the citizenry first.
He further emphasised that the recent state of Parliament, where every headcount matters, may be part of the reason the MP felt compelled to move to Parliament and cast his vote even in his condition.
Having said that, he still concurred with the fact that it is important for MPs to pay heed to the nation’s interests first.
Parliament passed three new tax bills on Friday, March 31, which were tabled before it as part of government’s measures to generate more revenue and to straighten its paths to an IMF intervention.
The bills were the Income Tax Amendment Bill, the Excise Duty Amendment Bill, and the Growth and Sustainability Amendment Bill.
These new revenue bills, according to the government, are needed to help the government complete processes for about $3 billion IMF deal it is chasing as well as improve the revenue situation of the country.
But on the same show, Mr. Atta Boahene said he did not consider the bills as new, saying some are already in existence. He said they have been amended to create new provisions for other means of revenue collection.
Among the three bills, the spokesperson thinks only one is new, which is the Growth and Sustainability Tax. In the meantime, he commended the government for its collective effort to ensure the passage of the revenue bills.
He believes the three new initiatives will help reduce the government’s rate of borrowing.
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