General News of 2013-12-03

MPs reject 5% pay cut to support dev't projects

Proposal to get Members of Parliament to cede five percent of their salaries to support development projects in the country has been rejected today on the floor.

Contributing to debate on the 2014 budget, MP for Shai Osoduku, David Tetteh Assumeng appealed to his colleagues to follow the example of the President and his ministers, who have pledged to donate 10 percent of their salary into the construction of more Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds to reduce maternal mortality in the country.

He therefore urged his colleagues to sacrifice a lot more for the country’s development.

"Every MP who is here with the objective of developing his area must support this fund", he asserted.

According to him, he made the appeal sometime back that there should be a freeze on the salaries of all persons within the Article 71 bracket, however, he became unpopular among his colleagues.

The Shai Osoduku MP called for drastic measures to be taken to arrest the decline in developmental rate of the country.

"I want to use this opportunity to appeal to everyone within the Article 71 bracket, and I want propose that MPs should follow my appeal to do away with just 5%", Tetteh Assumeng noted.

However, his proposal was rejected by MPs from both sides of the House. They demanded the provision of free vehicles and accommodation before they will consider ceding part of their salary to support development projects.

According to the MPs, the executive do not pay for fuel, light bills and other utilities and facilities as MPs, and therefore are in the position to cede 10% or more of their salaries.

Additionally, the MPs argued that quantifying the chauffeur-driven vehicles that ministers enjoy will amount to at least Ghc4,000 a month unlike MPs, who do not enjoy any of such largesse.

Joy News' Parliamentary correspondent, Elton John Brobbey caught up with David Asumeng and asked him why he has decided to embark on this campaign on the floor.

"Everyone must be committed to doing this because the deficit that we have in terms of infrastructure is very low and all hands must be on deck to quicken the developmental pace of this country", Mr. Asumeng noted.

According to him, the initiative taken by the executive to voluntarily offer 10% towards the establishment of CHPS compounds must be commended, adding that there was the need for MPs to follow suit since their primary objective is to see to the development of the country.

"I believe that all MPs should be on deck and as MPs, who are faced with numerous challenges, 5% will be a good offer", he intimated.