Member of Parliament (MP) for the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency in the Upper West Region, Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin has alleged that some former parliamentarians are dying due to insufficient salaries given them by the state, ABC News can report.
Speaking at the Africa Evidence week program in Parliament, Tuesday, Mr. Bagbin opined that the public perception that Parliamentarians are ‘enjoying’ in the country’s legislative house does not reflect the reality on the grounds.
“All the noise that people have been making that MPs are enjoying, we should be seeing that if they were really enjoying, after the House, how many MPs do you see still looking opulent, a lot of them are in the trotros with you but you don’t know them.
“As the longest-serving MP here, I have been called upon on weekly to go for funerals of former members of Parliament who are dead because they could not go out their house to buy prescription drugs,” he noted.
Article 71 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution suggests that the determination of the salaries and allowances of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary be paid from the Consolidated Fund and should be determined by the President, on the recommendations of a committee of not more than five persons appointed by him and acting upon the advice of the Council of State.
In December 2016, Parliament unanimously approved a report of the Presidential Committee on salaries and emoluments for Article 71 office holders including ex-gratia for the then outgoing President John Dramani Mahama
Members of Parliament were excited about the turn of events because the approval came with some increment in salaries and ex-gratia for both the Executive and the Legislature including all article 71 officeholders.
Already, in 2012, the 230 Members of Parliament who served in the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic enjoyed some GH¢47million as exgratia payments, this implied, MPs who lost their seats that year were given GH¢311,000 each while those who retained their seats obtained GH¢276,000 each.
Although the public has constantly questioned the huge monies given to former and current legislators, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament who will be leaving the House in 2021 cautioned the public to desist from thinking and or suggesting that Parliamentarians do not deserve more. Mr. Bagbin is urging Ghanaians to stop resisting suggestions aimed at improving the lot of Ghanaian legislators describing such acts of resistance as a threat to the freedom Ghanaians are enjoying.