MPs must also feel the ‘pulse’ of the people    

Some Members of Parliament (MPs) seem not to be too enthused about the slashing of their salaries. Our Parliamentary Correspondent quoted the Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, complaining how the cut of between 25-30 percent in MPs’ salaries is affecting parliamentary work.

Ahmed Ibrahim said much of their salaries were converted into loans to purchase cars for them, and thus MPs have to use the remainder to fuel their vehicles; and some MPS are still paying the new ‘luxury vehicle’ tax, and paying for the fuel budgeted for – and this is causing low-turn out to the floor of Parliament.

The Deputy Minority Chief Whip says the impression given is that MPs are wealthy because of the luxury four-wheel vehicles they are noted for owning – but the truth of the matter is that many MPs find it difficult to fuel such vehicles and this causing some not to be present at the floor of the House of Parliament, thus fuelling the prospect of being unable to form quorums required for conducting Parliamentary business – like approving loans etc.

Well, it appears they are not the only ones facing hardship – since the generality of Ghanaians are reeling under the weakening of the cedi against a much stronger US dollar, particularly businesses whose core business is hinged on import/export trade and the domino-effect it has on the economy as a whole.

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At the least, they should be thankful for the privileges of office because in some jurisdictions, like Rwanda, such luxuries are borne by the individual officer. And if one desires a luxury vehicle of any sort, the understanding is that once the individual is able to foot the bill from his/her salary, then the decision is entirely up to the individual. Hence, if a minister – or government official, for that matter – feels his or her salary can foot the bill for such luxury vehicles, the decision is entirely left for the officer to determine whether his/her budget can afford such dainties.

To be fair to the MP for Banda, he also complained about the delay in release of the Common fund, since from January to date nothing in that regard has been forthcoming; so, we can understand a bit of his frustration.

Some MPs tend to pre-finance projects with the hope of recouping when the money is matured, but the unexpected delay is causing undue pressure and anxiety.

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