The Vice-President of IMANI Center for Policy and Education, Kofi Bentle has described the payment of Gh¢39 million to all the 230 Members in the 5th Parliament of the Fourth Republic, as a “way the ruling class of our society loot the coffers of Ghana every four years”.
According to the Vice President of the think tank group, the beneficiaries of these monies pretend to accept the ex-gratia only because it was recommended by a commission that is mandated by the constitution.
“They always hide behind something or somebody as if to say they really don’t like it but it is somebody that is imposing it on them,” he said.
Mr. Bentle quickly discounted the claim that democracy is expensive by stating that “what we have now is a situation imposed by democracy, but a situation imposed by a leadership that is insensitive to its environment”.
Speaking on Joy TV’s ‘PM Express’, Kofi Bentle reiterated the opinions of a cross section of the populace who are outraged by the amount of Gh¢ 211,000 paid as gratuity to Law Makers who did not return to the House after the 2012 December 7 and 8 elections, while those who retained their seats got between Gh¢ 270,000 and Gh¢ 275,000, depending on their status in the House, in the mist of agitations on the labour front and the erratic power and water supply.
“Are Parliamentarians telling us their work deserves this kind of money”? Nobody is saying don’t get paid for the work that you are doing. They tell us about all kinds of expenses they have and all those other things. We are not supposed to be funding your campaign. You are law makers and you are supposed to be earning sufficient money for the work that you do, noting that nobody forces anyone into public office”.
According to Mr. Bentle, these are the things that create the loss of confidence in the political establishment, which lead to the coups of 1979 and 1981”.
He further stated that is not “proper” for our leaders to continue dissipating the public purse every four years.