Stakeholders at a Zonal Consultative forum held in Kumasi on emoluments and salaries of article 71 public office holders, have recommended the setting up of a provident fund into which Members of Parliament (MPs) would cede part of their monthly salaries to serve as their ex-gratia when they are exiting Parliament.
They said the present remunerations and other benefits being enjoyed by the law-makers is perceived to trigger agitations from other category of public sector workers who feel their huge salaries, is putting undue pressure on the national kitty from which all public workers are also paid.
Additionally, “the perceived lavish lifestyles of some MPs and their penchant to dole monies to their constituents in the name of social responsibilities, give them an unfair advantage to win the constituent’s parliamentary seats many times over”.
A five-member Presidential Committee on Emoluments appointed by President John Dramani Mahama is organizing the broad consultative meetings across the country to solicit public views on the all-important issues to factor these into a final recommendations document.
The over 50 participants comprising, officials from the public and private sectors, civil society organizations, religious bodies and traditional councils, drawn from the Eastern, Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions, were expected to make inputs into an ongoing public debate on the appropriate remunerations to be given to article 71 public office holders.
Article 71 office holders are: the President and his Vice, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Speaker of Parliament and Members of Parliament, Chief Justice, other superior judges and heads of independent state agencies.
Chaired by Professor Dora Francisca Edu-Buandoh, Head of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the five –member committee appointed by President John Dramani Mahama, has Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, the special Presidential Advisor, Dr. William Baah Boateng, Mrs Norkor Duah and Mrs Lydia Bawa, as other members.
Mrs. Edu Buandoh, promised full disclosure of the final document when the committee finishes its work.
She noted that the move takes the democratic dispensation of the country one step further and said a similar zonal meeting has been held for the northern sector in Tamale and that a final one would be held for the Costal belt.
She stressed the need for stakeholders to adhere to decorum in expressing their views and pledged that all the opinions so far expressed would be factored into the final recommendations of the PCE.