Members of Ghana’s Parliament have kicked against the current arrangement where Legislators and Members of the Council of State are made to contribute to the purchase and maintenance of their duty post vehicles by taking a loan for that purpose for which they service with their salaries over the four years.
Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution makes a special dispensation for a category of public Officers whose duty vehicles among other things are catered for by the Consolidated fund, yet Members of Parliament and Members of the Council of State who are also in this category, are the only institutions who have had a different arrangement up till date.
Claims of Discrimination against MPs
Presenting the Finance Committee’s Report on the Medium-Term Loan Agreement for an amount of $28 Million and $3.5 Million to finance the Purchase of Vehicles for MPs of the 8th Parliament and Members of the Council of State respectively, the Chairman of the Committee, Kwaku Kwarteng observed that the MPs are being discriminated against.
The Finance Committee has therefore recommended to Members of Parliament to reject the car loans made available to Members of Parliament to procure duty post vehicles for their official duty the four year stay as representatives of the people.
“The Committee strongly recommends to Parliament the discontinuation of the current vehicle loan arrangement for MPs and Council of State Members. Members of Parliament and Members of the Council of State should have similar duty post vehicle arrangement as other Article 71 office holders have,” the report said.
MPs Insist on Duty Post Vehicles
Taking their turns to contribute on the issue on the Floor, the MPs from both sides of the House were unanimous about the fact that they also deserve a duty post vehicle sponsored from the consolidated fund just as the other Article 71 office holders.
They have therefore concluded that, Government should make the necessary arrangements to provide Members of Parliament with what they deserve and therefore this particular loan facility should be the last of its kind.
The recommendation of the Finance Committee on this issue further indicated, “The Committee took note of recent concerns expressed by many sections of the Ghanaian public about the burden the current vehicle loan arrangement for Members of Parliament and Members of the Council of State impose on the public purse.
“These legitimate concerns are fueled by the fact that, of all the Article 71 office holders, it is only Members of Parliament and Members of the Council of State who benefit from these vehicles loans, part of which are re-paid by the state.
“The Committee took the view that, as representatives of the people, Members of Parliament cannot continue to leave these concerns unattended. That weakens the confidence Ghanaians have in us. We have a responsibility to reflect the values and ideals of the people we represent.”
Approval of Loan Agreement
The House however approved the Loan Agreement of $28,000,000 and $3,500,000 to finance the purchase of vehicles for Members of Parliament and Members of the Council of State respectively, as well as a request for a tax waiver to the tune of $13,158,000 for the purchases.
Source: Clement Akoloh||parliamentnews360.com