MPs should not ask for a King’s ransom
We are told that each Member of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, is to receive a monthly wage of GH¢7,200. At the moment, each member of the august House is on a monthly wage of GH¢3,000.
MPs themselves say they have not been officially informed of the quantum leap in their salaries. But, information available indicates that the new figures were the recommendations of the Ewurama Addy Committee, set up by the deceased President John Evans Atta Mills to review the salaries and emoluments of Article 71 office holders.
We are minded to submit that this sum of money is way over the top, given the dire state of the economy. We do not believe that the state of Ghana should dole out GH¢7,200 to each member of the House every month.
What is even more unacceptable is the notion that the new pay structure should take retrospective effect from January 2009. At this rate, each Member of Parliament would earn GH¢345,000 in the four-year lifespan of the term of Parliament.
In a society where the ordinary man has no place to ease himself decently, The Chronicle does not support such a quantum leap in the wages of the men and women who constitute the House of Parliament.
Much as we agree that the job of a member of the House is critical to the evolution of the democratic principles we seek, we do not believe doling out much of the little resources to those who represent the various constituencies is the right thing to do.
We would like to believe that members of the House would take a closer look at the living circumstances of the men and women they represent, and accept something moderate, so that the state could make a saving on their wages to cater for the vulnerable in society.
We are aware of the numerous requests from constituents to foot many private bills. But, that is no reason to demand a king’s ransom from the already over-burdened state. The Chronicle would like to believe that something in the region of GH¢5,000 a month could represent a fair return from the hard working Members of Parliament.
Even then, we would like to believe that it should not carry with it more than three months wages as back-pay. All over the country, various professionals are smarting under very meagre wages.
Our doctors, nurses, teachers, lecturers and other professionals are getting by on meagre wages. We are not suggesting that members of the august House do not deserve to benefit from their sweat.
The Chronicle is submitting here that by accepting this huge increase – nearly 120 percent in income – our MPs are opening the floodgates for labour agitations on all fronts. We believe it would be possible for the leadership of the political divide in the House to lead their members to be reasonable with the national purse.
Our Members of Parliament are urged to accept something moderate. GH¢5,000 a month is reasonable. We recommend that to the House.
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