MPs paid Gh¢ 39m ex gratia, but no funds to pay Gh¢ 10m to UTAG

Business News of Thursday, 4 April 2013

Source: Joy Online

Money Cedis Carry

About Gh¢ 39 million have been paid to all the 230 Members in the 5th Parliament of the Fourth Republic, as of January 7, 2013.

Members who did not return to the House after the 2012 December 7 and 8 elections, took home Gh¢ 211,000, while those who retained their seats got between Gh¢ 270,000 and Gh¢ 275,000, depending on their status in the House.

Deputy Public Affairs Director of Parliament, Kate Addo, disclosed on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Thursday that the payments were made based on the recommendations by the Chinery-Hesse and the Awurama Addy Committees.

According to Ms. Addo, the payments exclude the Gh¢ 50,000 rent allowance the legislators are to benefit from.

This comes at a time when government says it cannot cough up a total of Gh¢ 10 million being demanded by striking public university teachers.

Members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) on Tuesday began the industrial action to demand full payment of accumulated allowance since 2012.

But government has proposed to pay the amount in three installments, on the grounds that there was no money to pay the allowances at one time.

“We are not disputing that we will pay; we are just asking to pay according to a certain schedule…and so we will continue to urge them to reconsider their position,” Information and Media Relations Minister Mahama Ayariga told host Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.

Meanwhile, former MP for Jomoro constituency, Samia Yaba Nkrumah is the only MP on record to have kicked against the payment of the ex gratia. She indicated her intention to reject the payment when the issue came up on the floor last year.

However, Ms. Kate Addo was unable to confirm if Samia received the payment or not. “I cannot confirm that now…she did that with regard to other payments that have been done,” Kate Addo said.