A former National Youth Organizer of the New Patriotic Party, Anthony Abayifaa Karbo says government’s decision to pay the ex-gratia of all the 230 Members of Parliament (MPs)is ill-timed.
According to him, though the Constitution defines clearly the emoluments of MPs, government should have considered the concerns of the labour unions as its first priority.
The GH¢63.25 million paid to MPs as gratuity has generated a lot of controversies in the country with some arguing that it is a misplaced priority.
Some members in the labour front who are agitating over delays in the payment of their allowance say the development make them feel like second class citizens.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday, Anthony Karbo said government has shot itself in the foot.
He indicated that the decision by the government to pay the MPs will stain its relationship with the labour groups.
Anthony Karbo suggested that the Constitutional provision which allows both MP and the President to determine their salaries must be scraped to ensure equity.
He believes there is an element of “scratch-my-back” in the whole arrangement which he claims put pressure on the President to succumb to the whims and caprices of the MPs.
The former NPP Youth Organizer called for a review in the award of gratuities to all Article 71 of office holders.
“Let us call for a national debate on the matter so that there will be transparency and if we are giving an MP a million dollar as ex-gratia, no Ghanaian will talk about it”.
The failed parliamentary candidate for Lawra in the Upper West Region wondered why only the ex-gratia paid to the legislature has generated public debate when in fact the executive and the judiciary have also been paid.
“Let us not build public sentiments against the MPs; the citadel of democracy is Parliament so please let not joke with it”.
He was of the opinion that people should not juxtapose the payment of MPs’ ex-gratia to the demands of the labour unions because they are not the same.
Anthony Karbo said the work of an MP is very tedious therefore they must be empowerment to give off their best.