Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

The Majority Leader has opposed claims that Members of Parliament (MPs) are paid ex-gratia.

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the MPs are rather given gratuity.

As a result, he is asking critics of MPs on the issue to apprise themselves with the issues before commenting on same.

“People today are talking of the payment of ex-gratia being given to Members of Parliament,  Ministers, and so on. There is nothing like ex-gratia for Members of Parliament. It is a gratuity that is paid to Members of Parliament, not ex-gratia. The difference must be known to people,” he said in Parliament on Friday, June 17.

'MPs are given gratuity not ex-gratia; know the difference' - Majority Leader fires back at critics
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu

The subject of ex-gratia has resurfaced following the former Council of State 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.

Also, some prominent Ghanaians have called for the cancellation of the payment.

For instance, the Founding President of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Franklin Cudjoe has described it as plunder.

Speaking on Joy SMS on Thursday, June 16, he told host, Winston Amoah that the state cannot continue to make such payments to the MPs.

“The payment of ex-gratia to MPs is a plunder however you look at it, even if it is legal, and I worry because when the argument is made about the fact that this is justified then I ask myself that if an MP at the last count is receiving GH¢29,000 as gross salary a month that is for the last Parliament and that comes close to GH¢350,000 a year, if you then juxtapose that against the per capita income of the country of GH¢14,000 that is almost 25 times the capital income of every Ghanaian.”

Also, Professor Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua of the University of Ghana School of Law has said the political elite are taking advantage of it “to milk the state.”

“No, it cannot be justified, and I think that Parliament should sit up and say that if you are saying that you spend too much due to campaigning and so on, be circumspect in your campaigning because that is where corruption starts.”

“Cut your coat according to your size if you know you are not expecting ex-gratia, you’ll know how to organize your political campaign.”

However, the Majority Leader suggest the calls are misplaced since they don’t receive such payments.