Benin - Finance bill 2020: Martin Assogba presents his observations to MPs Ph: Les Pharaons

On behalf of the Social-Watch-Alcrer consortium, Martin Assogba presented the comments of the said civil society organisations to the members of the Budget Committee.

The draft finance bill for the year 2020 is already under consideration in parliament. As usual, members of the government will pass in front of the members of the Budget Committee to defend their sectoral budget. In addition to members of the government, the national representation also receives civil society organisations to gather their comments on the draft finance law. In this context, Martin Assogba, representing the Social-Watch-Alcrer consortium, presented to the deputies the various observations made by these two civil society organizations.

In his presentation, Martin Assogba dwelt a lot on the social aspect. “We have studied the finance bill that was sent to us by Parliament and we have tried to examine the various points. We have focused a lot on social issues, the funds allocated to the Social Promotion Centres,” he said. It seems that the funds allocated to these centres are very small. “We have come to ask hon. members to tell the government to keep a very important eye on this area so that if we want to help the people, we can do it decently so that people leave vulnerability,” he said.

In addition, the President of the NGO ALCRER also raised other points, such as the monitoring of government action. “We also talked about input issues where we said we would be happy if we could tax inputs that are in the area of cash crop agriculture… We have placed a lot of emphasis on what the Assembly should do in terms of monitoring government action.” For Martin Assogba, taxpayer funds must be managed in full transparency and there should be accountability at the government level and this should be done through each sector. In other words, each department must be able to account for the funds allocated to it and we must know what it was used for and how it was used so that Beninese people feel comfortable paying taxes, he said.

It should be noted that before Martin Assogba’s presentation to the national representation, preliminary work was done between the NGO ALCRER and Social-Watch. From this work came documentation, a copy of which was made available to the national representation.

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