General News of Friday, 5 April 2013
Source: Joy Online
Former Member of Parliament for Asikuma-Odobeng- Brakwa, Paul Collins Appiah Ofori says those agitated about the gratuity paid to MPs are “ignorant” of the computation of the ex-gratia.
According to him, the quantum amount paid to the MPs as ex-gratia includes their December 2012 salaries.
The end of service benefit paid to 230 MPs who served in the 5th Parliament of the 4th Republic has attracted grave public disapproval.
Critics have questioned the timing of the payment of the ex-gratia, especially when other public servants have laid down their tools in protest over salary arrears.
But speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday, PC Appiah Ofori described as unfair public criticisms about the amount paid to the MPs.
He noted that payment of ex-gratia is a mandatory Constitutional provision and thus government did not err in anyway in paying them.
Appiah-Ofori said MPs like any other public servant are entitled to a retirement package therefore “condemning us for what is rightfully ours is quite unfortunate”.
He indicated that MPs are the poorest people in the country “but the title of honorable makes it very rewarding”.
The former MP for Asikuma-Odobeng-Brakwa explained that MPs are overburdened with the socio-economic needs of their constituents which sometimes makes it very difficult for them to go to their constituency.
“MPs pay the school fees, hospital bills, funeral bills among others for their constituents but if you refuse to foot these bills, they will vote massively against you”.
Appiah-Ofori said the perception created that all MPs are rich is erroneous because some can hardly make ends meet when they exit Parliament.