General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, is proposing that the payment of salaries and emoluments to Members of Parliament (MPs) should be determined by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC).
According to him, considering the brouhaha surrounding the issue of ex-gratia payment, particularly to Parliamentarians, it will be better if they are made to fall under the FWSC.
He explained that Parliamentarians as any other public servants, work in the interest of the nation and so, it is unacceptable for them to be given preferential treatment.
Citing the FWSC Act 737, which was promulgated in June 2007 during the erstwhile Kufour government, to buttress his point, Bernard Mornah pointed out that the Commission is mandated to look at the Pay policy of all public servants in the country.
The PNC General Secretary thus wondered why Parliamentarians are exempt, and called for their inclusion if really they are also working for the nation.
“Are they part of the public? Are they working in the interest of our nation? How come that some group deserves to go under one formula of payment or policy and they don’t qualify? I think that it is fair that in passing the law to determine the incomes of Ghanaians, the working people of Ghana; Members of Parliament must understand that they are also working for Ghana and therefore should have put themselves under the Fair Wages and Salary Commission,” he stressed.
News of government’s approval of billions of cedis as ex-gratia to Members of Parliament (MPs) who served in the fifth Parliament of the fourth Republic, got the blood of sections of the public boiling.
The government is reported to have doled out a whopping GHC 47 million to all 230 MPs.
MPs who retained their seats in the House after the December 7, 2012 polls received GH¢276,000 while those who lost their membership were given GH¢311,000 respectively.
The seemingly sudden rush by government to settled the Parliamentarians financially comes in the wake of agitations by labour unions drawn from the judiciary, education and health sector, some of whom have threatened to embark on strike actions should government not readily address their grievances.
Contribution to discussions on Radio Gold’s “Alhaji and Alhaji” programme, Bernard Mornah, found the MPs’ attitude disturbing especially when they claim to be under constant pressure from their constituents, yet do all in their power to still remain in the august House.
“What is wrong? The society is beginning to ask the question; what is wrong?” with them to request reviews in their pay policy when their lifestyles do not reflect that the nation is in grave debt.
“What is this debt that our Parliamentarians are in that all the time, they are in this debt; and yet they want to be in debt? What is the pressure that is coming from constituents, that is making it uncomfortable for our Parliamentarians and yet they want to be in Parliament to go through that pressure?” he questioned.
He was also alarmed by the fact that MPs on both sides of the House; minority and majority, always seem to reach a common consensus when it comes to issues regarding their salaries and emoluments.