MPs Need Their Ex-Gratia; Give It To Them – Kweku Baako

Political Pundit Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Junior has said: “MPs need their ex-gratia” and “we must give it to them”.

Kweku Baako however believes the atmosphere within which the Ghc47m was paid to the 230 MPs of the fifth Parliament of the fourth Republic has whipped up emotions and clouded the real issues concerning the issue of ex-gratia.

Speaking on Joy FM’s on Saturday April 6, 2012, the New Crusading Guide Editor-In-Chief said there was the need for Ghanaians to detach emotions from the discussions and look at the issue dispassionately.

“We’ve played political football with it so it’s become difficult.”

MPs of the last Parliament who lost their seats will each take home Ghc311, 000 while those who retained their seats will bag home Ghc277,000 as ex-gratia for serving four years in Parliament.

Striking University Teachers who are owed Ghc10m in salary arrears by the Government have been angered by the payment.

Similarly, other labour unions such as the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Government Hospital Pharmacists (GHOSPA) and the Judicial Service Staff are up in arms against the government for doling out that huge amount to Legislators while their numerous grievances remained unresolved.

Kweku Baako Junior said to the extent that the various labour unions are raising concerns about the payment coupled with the fact that some former MPs are pursuing some aspects of the ex-gratia payment in court shows that: “There’s an element of unfairness…a certain injustice somewhere along the line”.

He nonetheless noted that: “We must not throw the baby away with the water”.