General News of 2013-12-04

Mahama’s 10% pay cut philosophy is vague – Appiah-Ofori

Despite President Mahama’s aim that his intended 10% pay cut will aid in the establishment of CHIPS Compounds in rural areas and his challenge to his critics to follow suit, former Member of Parliament for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa in the Central Region, Hon. P.C Appiah Ofori has urged the President to specify on the type of salary since the initiative though good on paper, is confusing in reality.

Finance Minister Seth Terkper announced the 10% pay cut in the salaries of all members of the Executive arm of Government, including the President and his Vice, when he presented the 2014 budget in Parliament a few weeks ago.

Cumulatively, the pay cut will accrue about Ghc800,000 per month beginning from January 2014, according to Terkper.

President Mahama, on Saturday, said that the amount will go into building Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHIPS) compounds to support mainstream health delivery in the country.

“It is our plan to complete another 1,600 units of CHIPS compounds by the year 2016. This falls in line with a decision taken by myself and my Cabinet and other political appointees to voluntarily donate 10% of our salaries to go into the construction of special purpose CHIPS compounds dedicated to maternal and neo-natal health”, the President told an audience when he launched, in Accra, a Campaign for Accelerated Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA).

According to the President, rather than criticizing his austere initiative, his critics should do same for the benefit of the nation with 2% of their salaries.

In response to President Mahama’s challenge, the anti-corruption crusader averred on Hot Fm that the gesture of President Mahama is good on paper but confusing in reality since he has not specified which kind of salary the 10 percent pay cut will be applied.

“…which of Prez Mahama’s salaries was he referring to? We have two types of salaries; the basic and the gross...he did not specify which of these two he was going to cut the 10% off from his ministers and appointees. His idea in the first place is not complete because 10% from basic salary is different from gross salary, which will be a lot of money to complete the project he wants to commence,” he stressed.

He asserted that Ghanaians will be appreciative to reciprocate his (Mahama’s) austere initiative if his 10 percent pay cut will be taken from the gross salaries of his ministers and appointees since the gloss covers fuel intakes, drivers’ salaries, driving and sitting allowances.

“…he did not explain this in detail of his 10% pay cut and so what he said is vague to understand. It makes what he said erroneous since he has failed to tell Ghanaians how much money is their gross or basic salaries. I believe the NDC people are listening; they should advise the President to correct himself on the 10% pay cut because his philosophy is vague,” he opined.