MPs Grab ¢630 Billion Ex-Gratia

Parliament of Ghana

Parliament of Ghana

The last Parliament comprised 230 members and each is pocketing not less than GHC275,000 translating into GHC63.25million (c630billion).

Some of the MPs even had more than the quoted figures setting tongues wagging.

However, despite what appears to be huge payments, some of the MPs went home empty handed as they owed various financial institutions.

They took loans to run their campaigns while their car loans were deducted from the rest leaving some of the MPs’ account in the negative.

The timing of the payments has been questioned; especially at the time government is telling workers to tighten their belts with labour agitations everywhere.

Some of the ex-MPs have started grumbling over what they called attempts to incite the public against them, especially at the time government could not pay arrears of workers.

A former MP for Adentan, Kojo Adu-Asare, expressed grave displeasure about the media reportage concerning the ex-gratia paid to them.

Mr Adu-Asare, who could not hold his frustration, told Asempa Fm the attempt by the media to incite the public against MPs because they had been paid their end of service benefit was “hypocritical and mischievous”.

The ex-gratia was paid based on recommendation made by a presidential committee headed by Prof. Awura Ama Addy.

Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution talks about emoluments for certain category of public workers including the President whose ex-gratia would have to be determined by a special committee set up by the President.

These categories of public workers include the President, ministers of state, MPs, judges as well as Electoral Commissioners, CHRAJ Commissioners, NCCE, among others.

The government has fulfilled its obligation by promptly paying the ex-gratia for members of the last Parliament which was dissolved on January 7, this year.

Once again, the amount paid as ex-gratia to ex-parliamentarians has generated interest and comments amongst members of the public with some saying the amount is too much while others are saying the MPs deserve that amount taking into consideration their invaluable contribution to the development of the nation and machinery of governance.

Some members of the last Parliament who spoke to DAILY GUIDE expressed displeasure about how the society always singled out any amount paid to MPs forgetting that there were some groups of public workers under the category of presidential workers, to whom the Constitution gave special recognition.

The Member of Parliament for Atiwa West, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, said he really did not understand the whole fuss about MPs’ ex-gratia.

‘We as members of Parliament did not recommend any ex-gratia for ourselves but a presidential committee that recommended to the President the amount which has to be paid to MPs and the committee came to that conclusion after the consideration of a lot of things including the importance of the work of Parliament,’ he said.

He added that it was important for the society to appreciate the work of Parliament and its contribution to the democratic dispensation of the country.

The Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, said MPs’ contributions to the socio-economic development of the nation could not be over-emphasised and that there was the need for journalists and the various media houses to educate members of the society about the work of parliamentarians and their contribution to the development of the country.

“It is very disheartening that on a daily basis MPs are treated like thieves. Why? Have we stolen anybody’s money?” Adu-Asare quizzed.

 By Thomas Fosu Jnr