The argument over the huge emoluments for the country’s lawmakers has come up again, this time with the Right Honourable Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin speaking on the matter.
He explains that as elected representatives of the people at the constituency, they meet numerous financial needs of their constituents that exhaust whatever money they receive as MPs which is why they need to be properly remunerated.
The Speaker wondered why there is always public rejection and revulsion whenever MPs get an increment or improvement in the salaries they receive from the state. He was at a loss as to how people who got to MPs for all sorts of financial support can be furious whenever the same MPs get a raise in their incomes.
The veteran lawmaker noted that the financial strain that comes from being an elected representative of the people is one main reason why they must be paid salaries that are commensurate with their financial responsibilities.
For him, MPs deserve better emoluments.
He made the call in Takoradi during a Press Soirée to mark 30 years of Ghana’s uninterrupted Parliamentary Democracy.
“Whatever is given to the one you struggled to elect [MP], you are opposed to it. Even though every day you knock at his door to request money to pay school fees and hospital bills, to donate to churches, festivals and funerals, you hate to hear that his salary is being increased. There must be a problem!” Alban Bagbin lamented.
Lawmaker for Assin Central Kennedy Agyapong had earlier pleaded with fix the country organizers to strike out their calls for salaries of Members of Parliament (MPs) to be slashed.
According to him, Members of Parliament (MPs) are already living a very poor life because most of them depend solely on their salaries which are peanuts.
He noted that MPs with their meagre salaries take care of a number of families in their constituencies and therefore slashing their salaries will mean other families will also have to suffer the brunt.
“MPs are suffering. Immediately they take their salaries, people are in their offices to take the money. We should look at that aspect of their demands because it’s very sensitive. The most worrying one is the fact that the moment you are appointed Minister, you will wake up to meet people queued infront of your house.”
He blamed these beggars for the widespread corruption by public officials because their salaries are not enough to take care of all the people who depend on them.
News about the salaries of MPs, especially the payment of ex-gratia to them, is often met with outrage. But MPs have consistently advocated that they deserve more for the work they do and the financial pressure that comes with it.