The Conference of Presiding Members in the Eastern says paying salaries to Assembly Members will weaken the local governance system as it will discourage professionals earning better salaries from contesting to be paid meager salaries by the government since they cannot take double salaries.
This they say will deprive assemblies of the requisite expertise.
“We have medical Doctors, Teachers, Nurses, and other public servants whose salaries are already charged to the Consolidated Fund. The big question is whether or not we will be encouraging double salaries should the request be granted in the current state of the Law. We are of the opinion that this is likely to weaken our local governance system as professionals will not be interested in resigning from their professional employment and take up the office of an Assembly Member.”
Addressing the media in Koforidua on Friday, the Conference of Presiding Members -Eastern Region made up of Presiding Members of Municipal and District Assemblies in the region further stated that even though they will be happy to experience enhanced conditions of service for Assembly Members including emolument which is the creation of the Constitution, they do not trust the Presidential Candidate of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama to deliver on this promise having failed to deliver the same promise in 2012 manifesto of the NDC repeated in 2016, let alone talk about a well-thought-through policy.
“Mahama thinking that Ghanaians in general and Assembly Members, in particular, have short memories as he mentioned some time ago has repackaged this same promise calculated to deceive our Hon. Assembly Members in order to gain their votes” George Krobea Asante-Eastern Regional Organizer for the Conference said.
They, however, hastened to add that, already there are ongoing discussions by NALAG and Government for amendment of the law to enable equitable and fair allowances and uniformed ex-gratia for all Assembly Members by Central government, allocate portions of the District Assembly Common Fund to the Assembly Members to enable them to undertake minor developmental projects to fix local needs, and distribute Motorbike of Standard quality to all Assembly Members.
Promise by the Presidential Candidate of the Opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, John Dramani Mahama that the next NDC government will pay allowances to Assembly Members has sparked diverse opinions, Whereas a section of Assembly Members welcomes the promise others have doubted its actualization.