The Speaker says Parliament is currently running on arrears because the Finance Ministry does not release funds for operations.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has justified the payment of ex-gratia to Members of Parliament.

He contended that the money is very important for the sustenance of the MPs after serving the country.

Addressing a public lecture at the University for Professional Studies, on Wednesday, Mr. Alban Bagbin said MPs do not benefit much from ex-gratia as the public perceives.

He explained that the money spent by Members of Parliament to campaign for their elections is three times more than the ex-gratia they receive.

“We are having these problems because there is some perception that ex-gratia is some huge money…You know that as MPs you don’t benefit from that ex-gratia, you don’t, because the money you spent to be elected to Parliament is thrice or four times what they give you as ex-gratia. No MP leaves Parliament better than the MP enters Parliament.

“Once an MP is elected, he must win the next election and so they sacrifice everything to satisfy the voters in the constituency so that they could win again. So at the end of the day when they lose the election, they have lost everything, they have invested everything in the election and they now have nothing,” he noted.

The subject of ex-gratia has resurfaced following the former Council of Sate member, Togbe Afede’s decision to reject over 300 thousand cedis paid to him after serving on the National Council of State between 2017 and 2020.

Subsequently, social media users showered accolades on the Paramount Chief for rejecting the amount paid him as ex-gratia.

The netizens praised him for protecting the public purse and thinking of the growth and development of the country.

Classifying him as a “man of integrity,” the tweethearts urged other public office holders to follow in the steps of the Paramount Chief.

Togbe Afede explained why he rejected the money.

He said despite the good reason to pay ex-gratia award to Article 71 office holder, the amount to be disbursed should be subjected to analysis with consideration to the current economic hardships in the country.

“I thought the salaries were more than enough, so I decided there and then that there is no way I could spend that money and that money must go back to government…there may be a need to give some end of service benefit, how much to be given is subject to a bit of analysis, that would respect also the situation in our country and the plight of the average Ghanaian. Some people must not be made to look like a different class of people.”