forward in the right direction.
Mr Speaker, I conclude by urging all Hon Members to give approval to this Budget so that Ghana can move forward in the years ahead in the right direction.
Mr Emmanuel A. Owusu-Ansah
(NPP - Kwabre West): Mr Speaker, the Budget Estimates of the Judiciary, together with the forwarding letter from His Excellency the President were laid before this House on the 23rd November, 2010. Mr Speaker, in the forwarding letter, His Excellency indicated that based on available resources, he was recommending to the House that an amount of GH¢42,917,123.00 could be provided by the Government instead of the GH¢97 million that the Judiciary had estimated.
Mr Speaker, i f you go by the recommendation that had been given by His Excellency the President, that figure forms only 44 per cent of the Judiciary estimates, and in that regard, I am wondering how the very good things said about the Judiciary, article 201 of the Budget Estimates can be met while the Government says that they will continue with the automation process and even extend the weekend sittings of magistrates to Kumasi and other places.
Mr Speaker, I think that the amount of GH¢42 million would be too low for the Judiciary to be able to work; and I am wondering whether it is one way of killing the cat. This is because when the Judiciary have been made so poor and they do not have resources to function, then they would be ineffective and probably, the Government will have its way. Probably, that is one way of killing a cat which we have been told.
Mr Speaker, at page 59 of the Budget
Estimates, that is, paragraph 192, the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic Planning tells the whole nation, through Parliament that the total expenditure estimates for the year 2011 would be GH¢12,670.8 million.
Mr Speaker, this is in conformity with article 179 (1) and (2), particularly clause (2) and with your indulgence, Mr Speaker, I will read clause 2:
“The estimates of the expenditure of all public offices and public corporations, other than those set up as commercial ventures. . .”
Then the narration goes on --
“All public offices”.
Mr Speaker, this shows that the Judiciary being a public office, its expenditure estimates are included in the GH¢12,670.8 million. But Mr Speaker, at page 162 of the Budget Estimates, the Judiciary has nil entry for Personal Emoluments, nil for Administration, nil for Services and nil for Investment. So the expenditure for the Judiciary has not been captured at all in the Budget Statement.
Mr Speaker, if the Judiciary's Budget expenditure has not been captured, then it cannot form part of the GH¢12,670.8 million. And if it does not form part of that figure, then it means that article 179 (1) and (2) has been breached because article 179 (1) and (2) says:
“The estimates of the expenditure of all public offices . . .”
So if you take the Judiciary out of it, then it is not all, and that means that the Constitution has been breached.
Mr Speaker, in that respect, I say that the Budget Statement as presented by the Hon Minister for Finance and Economic
So Mr Speaker, the expenditures, all expenditures which the Constitution had automatically charged on the Consolidated Fund, are laid before Parliament only for the information of Parliament. And Mr Speaker, article 179(6) also says that,
“The development expenditure of the Judiciary, if approved by Parliament, shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.”
That is the development expenditure. In respect of the Administration expenditure, this is what the Constitution says, Mr Speaker, and this is captured under article 179(3)(a):
“the estimates of administrative expenses of the Judiciary charged on the Consolidated Fund under article 127 of this Constitution;”
shall be linked together with the development expenses before Parliament.
Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that, with respect to the administration expenses, they are laid before Parliament for information. So if the President is purporting to recommend to the House, a figure that his Government can meet, the same is not allowed by law by the Constitution. This is because under article 127(4), it is very clear and with your indulgence, I read:
“(4) The administrative expenses of the Judiciary, including all salaries, allowances, gratuities and pensions payable to or in respect of, persons serving in the judiciary, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.”
This one is simple and the one that I have read early on says that if the charge is on the Consolidated Fund, it can only be for information. So all the amounts