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A group “We the people matter movement”, is demanding the immediate halting of payment of ex-gratia to Members of Parliament (MPs) who continue to win their seats and return to the August House after election.
According to them, that practice though a provision in the 1992 Constitution, needs to be abolished, as it is a major drain on the national kitty and comparably very discriminatory.
The group, which has been campaigning for a number of reforms in the governance system, in a statement copied to the Informer, said ex-gratia should be paid to only lawmakers who are exiting Parliament after serving their term or terms.
The statement signed by it spokesperson, Sa-ad Iddrisu, argued, MPs who continue to win elections must be paid no such money so long as they remain in the House to redraw their salaries as MPs and other privileges which come with their stay in there.
“We the people matter campaign,” said, these huge amounts of money which are paid to politicians as part of their emoluments, come nowhere near what equally important employees of the state take when they retire after serving many years. To bring some level of fairness and equity in the sector, the statement said the state must halt this practice and wait until one is done and is leaving Parliament for good.
Below is the full statement……
ADVOCATING TO STOP THE PAYMENT OF EX-GRATIA TO RETURNING MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
Currently, in Ghana, political party is a second religion which most Ghanaians belong to just as they belong to either Christianity or Islam. You may disagree with this statement, but it is a sad reality. Once you explore the cities, villages, and the zongos it becomes apparent that nationalism is dead and buried, and we are now left with the idea of “us versus them”.
Amongst these, the majority of Ghanaians wallow in abject poverty with no hope of prosperity for themselves and their unborn generations, while the political class and their families and friends enjoy an abundance of wealth daily.
For instance, how do you justify a constitutional provision that allows an Hon. MP, Minister or government appointee to receive an Ex Gratia payment at the end of a 4-year service term that is a million folds more than what a teacher or a nurse will receive as pension from SSNIT at the end of his/her 30 years of service to the nation? Are we saying every Ghanaian must be a politician before they can earn a decent wage or pension for themselves in Ghana? Or are we saying other professions do not matter and are not services to the nation?
We are calling for the abolishment of the ex-gratia payment to returning members of parliament. An MP who serves a four (4) year term in parliament and gets to win a second term should not be paid the ex-gratia for his first term served. Ex-gratia payment should be limited ONLY to MPs exiting the house after their first term. Subsequent terms of service as an MP should not attract any ex-gratia payment from the Ghanaian taxpayers.