The Ningo-Prampram MP has bemoaned that it takes only a ‘miracle’ for one to become a Member of Parliament in Ghana.
According to Sam George, MPs in the country suffer a lot because their electorates think that they receive huge sums of money, as what is called “ex gratia”.
He said the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament House, led by Kate Addo, is failing to educate the masses on the issues of MPs and their ex gratia.
“The fact that people think there is ex gratia for MPs is the failure on the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament because there is no ex gratia,” he told the host of Starr Chat, Nana Aba Anamoah, on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
He explained that four years after he went to Parliament as the representative of Ningo-Prampram, he didn’t know his salary until the dissolution of the seventh parliament.
“In 2017, I swore the oath of office on January 7 and went to parliament. I did not know what my salary was until January 5, 2021, almost four years into my term before I knew what my salary was. This is because the constitution gives the president the mandate to set up an emolument committee to determine Article 71 holder salaries.
“So, for four years, those of us in the seventh parliament were paid the salary of the sixth parliament, it is the same way those who are in the eighth parliament would be paid the salaries of the seventh parliament,” he said.
Sam George noted that after the committee’s work, they had to send a recommendation to the president indicating the salary of all Article 71 officeholders, it is then that the difference in salary would be paid.
“I am against that because some electorates are saying that MPs are getting GH¢600,000 which will be paid in bits, they will also deduct taxes, etc., but the value of the money reduces because they are paid in bits,” he stated.
The NDC MP said the electorates won’t understand that the so-called ex gratia is a delay in an MPs salary “yet I’ll get more insults because people think I get some free money”.