General News of Thursday, 29 January 2015
Parliament’s Select Committee on Works and Housing has rejected accusations that the Legislature has flouted the rent law for paying four years rent advance to Parliamentarians.
Chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing David Tetteh Asumin told the Joy FM Super Morning Show that parliament does not rent houses for MPs but rather pays the rent allowance to the legislators.
He was responding to criticism from the Secretary-General of the National Tenants Association of Ghana, Frederick Opoku.
Mr. Opoku criticized MPs for fuelling lawlessness by collecting four years rent advance instead of six months as stipulated by the 1963 Rent Control Act.
“Even parliamentarians are breaking the law. Are they not taking four years [rent] advance? Honourable Members of Parliament, the Speaker and all his groups are breaching the same law they are supposed to be protecting”, Frederick Opoku said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday.
But David Tetteh Asumin who is also the MP Shai Osudoku, explained that Parliament as an institution has not broken any law.
The 4-year allowance represents payment for the four-year term of MPs, he explained. He suggested it is the individual MPs who will have to negotiate favourable terms with landlords.
That is to say, some MPs could be paying six months rent as required by law or paying more than six months.
Be it as it may, Parliament pays an allowance not an advance to MPs.
He acknowledged that the 1963 law on rent is being flouted by landlords and tenants and suggested that the executive forward a proposal to amend or review this rent law.