Rent allowance for MPs: this recklessness must stop now

Rent allowance for MPs: this recklessness must stop now

Like many Ghanaians, I am outraged and angry about news of our so-called honorable men and woman of parliament allotting to themselves GHC 50,000 as rent allowance. This news-particularly the amount, is offensive and awful tough to talk about politely.

First of all, which one of our MPs is so unwise to want to spend his hard earned money to rent an apartment for GHC50,000? I bet only an insignificant few. So if you are unwilling or unable to pay such a colossal sum to rent a house from your own pocket, why would you want the poor Ghanaian hassling through traffic in a ‘trosky’ to do ‘by-day work’ at Tema Newtown or my sister-in-law selling tomatoes at Agbogbloshie to pay for you? Why oh why?

Secondly, I question the letter and spirit of the policy that gives MPs rent allowance every four years. In 2009, they were given GHC30, 000. This year, the tax payer is paying GHC50, 000. Obviously by 2017, they would push for GHC70,000. My question is- for how long are we going to waste state resources in this manner? To whom much is given, much is expected. Couldn’t our MPs after receiving these huge sums over the years reason up a bit to realize that there is a better way of handling this issue than what is currently being practiced?

My checks with some real estate agencies in Accra reveal that a Two-Bedroom house in and around Accra costs about GHC70, 000. Even if this figure swells to GHC100, 000 is it not wise to buy a house which would last as long as we want than paying increasingly quadrennial huge amount for rent. Any well meaning Ghanaian would prefer that government uses this amount to put up houses for the use of the MPs whiles they work as lawmakers of their various constituencies. After the MP’s term is over, he packs his rug and vacates, leaving the place for the next MP from his constituency to occupy. This is very basic knowledge, it is no ‘Samsung tablet making’. For the people who would defend this rent policy, I want you to understand that as much as the amount is an issue, the repetitiveness of this practice is annoying. What is mind-boggling is the seeming lack of innovative ways of solving this problem.

For once let these lawmakers and especially the executive show us, the Ghanaian people, some respect! We do not deserve this kind of shabby treatment, this wickedness, this recklessness, this senselessness, selfish and greedy attitude. No wonder so many ‘greedy bastards’ are in a hurry to get into that house, a very lucrative place to be in our time! For those principled and well meaning MPs in the house, please stand up and be counted! Kick against this practice now! If we continue handling state resources in this manner, it would not be long before some ordinary Ghanaians, inspired by RNBM will ‘chase those crazy bald headed men out of town’

God bless my beloved country, Ghana.