Members of the Minority Caucus in Parliament have declined to join their colleagues in the Majority and members of the Executive to cut their remuneration by 30 percent in order to address economic challenges confronting the country.
Government has announced a 30% salary cut for its appointees as part of austerity measures to resolve the prevailing economic crisis. In support of this gesture, members of the Council of State have also agreed to forfeit 20% of their monthly allowances up to the end of the year.
The Information Minister Oppong, Nkrumah therefore suggested that MPs should voluntarily consider a pay cut because the government is also doing the same.
Speaking with JoyNews’ Parker Wilson on Wednesday, the Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee, Kwame Agbodza said government’s suggestion is deceptive.
He explained that majority of NPP MPs “are on boards of state institutions so they draw other remuneration from these boards and other things whereas NDC MPs are not on any boards. So even if they let go of all their salaries, they will be able to find money elsewhere.”
The NDC MP said reduction in salary as a measure to save the economy from collapse is not reasonable.
Mr. Agbodza added that what should have been the best approach is “for government to cut its coat according to its size, the huge expenses we do at the seat of government, we can surely reduce some and do some efficiency savings and some of the things we do.”
Touching on the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s address on Thursday, March 24, 2022 on government’s measures to mitigate the current economic challenges confronting the country, Mr Agbodza said: “the Finance Minister will come and announce the painful measures we need to go through as a result of the mess he and his government have created; the overspending, needless and unaccountable expenditure, especially in 2020 with regards to Covid-19.”
According to him, he doubts if there will be any cushioning by the government, “Ghanaians are already paying that which could be used to cushion us as part of the petroleum price stabilization levy.”
“There is not much he is going to do. We are in a real fix, so we should all brace ourselves,” he noted.
Furthermore, South Dayi MP Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor wondered how a government which has not been able to determine what salary to pay him, would ask him to forgo part of a salary whose quantum he does not know.
“What I take as salary is actually the salary of the Member of Parliament for the 7th Parliament so what they are giving me is a way of on account until my conditions of service in the 8th Parliament is determined….I do not know how much I am earning, how do I agree to the percentage of reduction?” he quizzed.
He also stressed that the Information Minister’s suggestion for pay cuts is unreasonable. According to him, a government reeling under economic struggle should not be travelling in a private jet.
“When a government that continues to fly in private jet ask you to reduce your salary, you will not agree,” he told JoyNews.
Meanwhile, explaining why members of the Council of State decided to reduce their monthly allowances by 20% until the end of the year the Chairman, Nana Otuo Serebour II, said, the move is to help them identify with Ghanaians amid the difficulties people are facing.
Speaking at the Jubilee House during a meeting with the President on Tuesday, he was hopeful “this small gesture will be emulated by other organs of government.”
“Mr. President, in tandem with your decision, we as the Council of State have also decided that we will reduce our monthly allowances by 20% until the end of this year. This move is our way of contributing our widow’s mite to our total efforts towards economic recovery,” he said.