Rawlings questions MPs salary increase

Former President Jerry Rawlings has questioned the decision by Members of Parliament (MPs) to award themselves salary increments in the face of difficult economic conditions.

The wages of Members of Parliament (MPs) has increased from 3,000 cedis per month to 7,200 cedis following recommendations by the Prof Ewurama Addy Commission, established by the late President Mills at the beginning of his presidency to look into the salaries of the MPs.

The increase is to take retroactive effect, beginning in 2009 when the late President first assumed office. This will bring the total amount yet to be paid the MPs to 43,470,000 cedis.

The astronomical hike in the MPs salaries generated criticisms from sections of the public. Policy think tank IMANI Ghana questioned the logic of paying members of the House 72 times the annual Ghanaian median income and 60 times the average annual per capita income.

Speaking during the 3rd Freedom Power Lectures organized by the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy on Wednesday, Mr Rawlings said while the MPs have tried to justify the increments by referring to the fact that individuals in their constituencies besiege their offices daily to seek some financial support, the real solution does not lie in doing charity work.

He stated: “Whiles we each do what we can, the real solution does not lie in charity but in ensuring that the institutions established provide health, education, security…work more efficiently, effectively and transparently.”

The lecture was on the theme: “Corruption; a threat to democracy and national development”.