A Lawmaker in the current Sixth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone, representing the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), Western Area Urban, Honorable Idriss Sahid Kamara has said that some members of the opposition bench woefully criticized the 2024 budget "without any tangible justification of their points or opinions."
Giving his impression about the government's 2024 Appropriation Act, presented by the Ministry of Finance to Parliament, Hon. Kamara said it is his thinking that the 2024 Appropriation Act,
" is a fine Act that is geared towards ensuring economic growth, improving on jobs creation, youth empowerment and the Government's flagship programme of Feed Salone."
Hon. Kamara said the budget is aiming at improving on the management of public finances and enhancing effectiveness of monetary exchange rate policies to reduce inflation and stabilize the exchange rate to lower the cost of living for the poor and vulnerable.
He said in this way, the citizens are sure of improving their standard of living which has to do with their basic health and social amenities.
On the specific Issues that he had to raise about the budget, Hon. Kamara said, "Generally speaking, the issues of the budget which someone might see as - risk factor - to disrupt the implementation of the 2024 budget does not hold ground in my belief and perspective. Hence, the government is sure to put modalities in place to mitigate any forthcoming of such."
On the performance of the opposition during the five allotted days of plenary debate on the budget, Hon. Kamara said the opposition had been generalists in their criticisms of the fiscal document.
"From a government standpoint, I see it that my colleagues on the other hand are doing generic criticisms of the debate even though most of them are very much aware about the significance of the budget."
He said he would have loved to see a debate with genuine suggestions and recommendations rather than some MPs criticizing woefully without any tangible justification of their points or opinions.
It is apparent that some freshmen and fresh women lawmakers indeed made a good show during the five allotted days of debate that has been committed to the Committee of Supply but this is not the same for those who were not opportuned to catch the eye of their party's lists for Mr Speaker's eye.
Hon. Kamara said: "I see it that once a MP has gone through an induction, he or she should not be referred to as a freshman or woman. However, for the purpose of first term Parliamentarians, it would be very much appreciated if we are given enough or ample time to participate in parliamentary debates.
This could be of need because most of us the first time MPs are well grounded on debate issues and could be able to manifest ourselves to create more impact in the Well."
Hon. Kamara however had a message of thanks to his governing SLPP party for their hard work and commitment towards improving the livelihood of citizens and further encouraged them to continue their good work and take the responsibility to take the lead in fostering development.
He highlighted the point that the SLPP won the debate at the end of the day advancing that, "It is far from being imaginable that the opposition won the budget debate taking cognizance of their weak criticism on important issues which held no grounds to reckon with."
Hon. Kamara concluded with a message to the electorate that: "I feel very much honored and grateful to my people in the Western Area Urban District for the confidence they reposed in me to represent them in the Well of Parliament."
"I wholeheartedly wish to assure you that you made the best choice. On that note, I will do all that I can to make sure that your high expectations are met, " Honorable Idriss Sahid Kamara promised.