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General News of Saturday, 5 November 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

MPs demand for better condition of service 'slothful' - Ghana connect

Panelists for Joy FM's Ghana Connect programme Friday have unanimously dismissed calls by legislators for a better condition of service, describing it as "slothful."

The discussants which include Fellow at IMANI Ghana, Isidor Kpotufe, Policy analyst, Patrick Stephenson, law student of Mountcrest University College, Elvis Ampadu and President of Unemployed Graduates Association of Ghana (UGAG), wondered why the Members of Parliament (MPs) would be asking for more when the nation is already outspending taxpayers' money on them.

The 'appalling' condition of service legislators enjoy came up during the last sitting of Parliament when leader of Volta Caucus, Joseph Amenuwode read a tribute for the late Hohoe North MP, Prince Jacob Ahiakpor.
There was a chorus in the House that the life of an MP after the experience of Parliament is unspeakable and one that casts a slur on the country.
They want Ghanaians to prevail on the Executive arm of government to improve their benefits.

Former legislator and labor expert Austin Gamey contributing to the programme, said with the exception of few retired MPs who have found something useful doing outside the House, the rest are languishing in squalor.

He advocated for a new condition of service package which would ensure that MPs make Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contribution every month. This arrangement, he believes would help former MPs live a comfortable life.

But the panelists, who cut across the various population segment of Ghana said the cry of the MPs is unwarranted and needless.

The President of UGAG shrugged off their demand asking former MPs the number of jobs they created when they served as legislators.

He said their 'pitiful' situation would remind them and their relatives that they failed to make use of the office they were elevated to.

Mr Stephenson advanced a radical opinion saying MPs should be blamed for if they are unable to live a comfortable life after they vacate the House.
He said there a lot of things taxpayers money could be used for rather than providing a comfortable life for MPs whose work have largely come under criticism.

Mr Ampadu who had studied Political Science at the University of Ghana and has played a key role in the Ghanaian student front held a moderate view yet strong.

He wants the MPs to learn how to manage the benefits they receive as legislators in the country.

Listen to audio here.