General News of Thursday, 4 April 2013
Source: Joy Online
Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Adentan Constituency Kojo Adu-Asare has expressed grave displeasure about the media reportage concerning the ex-gratia paid to all 230 MPs in the previous Parliament.
Mr Adu-Asare, who could not hold his frustration, said the attempt by the media to incite the public against MPs because they have been paid their end of service benefit is “hypocritical and mischievous”.
MPs, under Article 71, are entitled to ex-gratia after serving in office for four years. In this regard, about Gh¢39 million have been paid to all the 230 MPs in the last parliament.
Members who did not return to the House after the 2012 December 7 and 8 elections, took home Gh¢211,000 each, while those who retained their seats got between Gh¢270,000 and Gh¢275,000 each, depending on their status in the House.
But this comes at a time government is struggling to pay outstanding debts of public sector workers some of whom have declared indefinite strike.
Some Ghanaians have also condemned the MPs for seeking their own interest while Ghanaians wallow in poverty.
However, speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Thursday, Kojo Adu-Asare said the erroneous impression being created by the media that MPs have been paid a colossal amount sends wrong signals to the public that politicians are only out to make personal gains.
He indicated that MPs don’t determine their ex-gratia, therefore, creating the impression that MPs are depleting the public purse is most unfortunate.
“It is very disheartening that on daily basis MPs are treated like thieves. Why? Have we stolen anybody’s money?” he quizzed.
The former Adenta MP said the penchant by the media to make the salaries of parliamentarians a public issue must be condemned in no certain terms.
“I have no regret I am out of Parliament; the media has made Parliament unattractive and the image of MPs a public ridicule”.
Adu-Asare noted that even though the labour agitations in the country are regrettable, it must be discussed dispassionately.
He said instead of the media focusing on the broader picture of labour issues for an amicable solution, it is rather pitching MPs against a volatile issue like the teachers strike.
However, Kojo Adu-Asare said government is working assiduously to resolve the industrial agitations in the country.