Double Salary Saga: Politicians Collude to Rip Nation’s Coffers – Imani Barks
Franklin Cudjoe, the President of Imani Ghana has stated that politicians in Ghana have over the years collided to rip the nation of its scarce and hard earned money for their selfish gains, describing the actions as ‘foolish’.
Expressing his displeasure at the way the tax payer’s money is being handled by politicians, the President of the think tank group said it is an indictment on the part of our leaders to have been caught in such a web. He wondered why Members of Parliament could come claim they did not know how much they were supposed to be paid monthly, when they are responsible for making laws some of which enjoins citizens to honor their tax obligations; “how is it that Parliamentarians who supervise and make laws could say that they are unable to tell us how much they earn?” he added
He said over the years, both majority and minority sides of the House have colluded to enjoy these things at the detriment of tax payers. He added that “they wait until the tenure of a new administration and harass the government of the day to increase their emoluments and end of service benefits in order to enjoy these double salaries so much that when their indebtedness is deducted, they are still left with substantial amounts to take home”.
He indicated that had this not come out, they would have continued to conspire to perpetuate this sabotage. He explained that because they all collude to enjoy these things, the minority also as a means of equalization brought up the rent issue, to show that they are not only culpable.
He said that the issue is about “sharing of booty”, where one side brings the issue out because they feel the other received a bigger share of the booty unduly.
In an exclusive telephone interview with The Chronicle, Franklin Cudjoe indicated that he sees the issue to be one of lack institutional coordination, especially between Parliament of Ghana and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, adding that beneficiaries of the double salaries should have returned the monies.
He disagreed with the suggestion for a constitutional amendment as a solution to this problem, recommending that authorities rather should ensure that parliamentarians and ministers take their salaries from where they work, in this case Parliament, and also not wait till the end of a particular administration before they determine their emoluments.
He added that we need a fundamental shift from the approach we have used over these years to compensate our officers.
He however sees no criminality in this, unless there are information about this saga Ghanaians do not know, adding that there is no criminal intention to steal in this matter, but basically about taking advantage of the system.
By: Frederick E. Aggrey