Each Member of Parliament in the previous Legislature is entitled to receive a little above Gh¢200,000 as ex-gratia, majority of those MPs – both former and serving will get none of it because they had used their ex-gratia as collateral for loans to oil their re-election campaigns in the 2012 elections.
XYZ News can confirm that some of the MPs took loans from the Bank of Africa, UniBank and Fidelity Bank as far back as 2010 using the same ex-gratia as collateral.
Consequently, most of the cheques issued for the payment of the ex-gratia have been paid into the accounts of those Banks to defray the loans taken by the MPs.The cheques were paid just last week.
There were 230 MPs in the last Parliament. This means they will collectively bag home Gh¢46m as ex-gratia.
According to the 1992 Constitution, Article 71 Office holders, including the MPs, must be paid ex-gratia for their elapsed tenure of office.
Article 71 (1) of the Constitution provides: “The salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities and privileges available, to (a) The Speaker and Deputy Speakers and Members of Parliament; (b) The Chief Justice and the other Justices of the Superior Court of Judicature; (c) The Auditor-General, the Chairman and Deputy Chairmen of the Electoral Commission, Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice and his deputies, and the District Assemblies Common Fund Administrator; (d) The Chairman, Vice Chairman and the other members of (i) a National Council for Higher Education howsoever described: (ii) the Public Services Commission; (iii) the National Media Commission, (iv) the Lands Commission and (v) the National Commission for Civic Education, being expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund, shall be determined by the President on the recommendation of a committee of not more than five persons appointed by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State.”
Article 71 (2) further provides: “The salaries and allowances payable, and the facilities available to the President, the Vice President, the Chairman and the other members of the Council of State, Ministers of State and their Deputy Ministers, being expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund, shall be determined by Parliament, on the recommendations of the committee referred to in Clause (1) of this article.”
On June 8, 2010, late President John Mills swore in a five-member presidential committee under the chairmanship of Professor Ewurama Addy, to determine the salaries of Article 71 office holders as required by the Constitution.
On Wednesday October 31, 2012, Parliament approved a monthly consolidated pay of GHc12, 000 for the president, in line with the recommendation of the Ewurama Addy Committee.
It was an increment of about 300 percent from the previous GHc4, 000.
The House also approved GHc10, 500 as salary for the vice-president; and between GHc8, 000 and GHc9, 000 for ministers and their deputies.
President Mahama appealed to Parliament to review the emoluments downwards but Parliament rejected that appeal with reason that the Executive cannot meddle in the affairs of the Legislature.