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Ablakwa calls for ‘major overhaul’ of Article 71 emoluments regime

Ablakwa calls for ‘major overhaul’ of Article 71 emoluments regime

The North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called for a “major overhaul” of the entire Article 71 emoluments regime.

In a post on Facebook calling on his fellow MPs to oppose the practice where government facilitates loans for MPs to purchase vehicles, Mr. Ablakwa said it was time to “adopt a totally new and sincere paradigm.”

“I have long held the view that the entire Article 71 emoluments regime is in urgent need of a major overhaul.

We need to demolish this apartheid superstructure and create new conditions of service framework for public officials which are more equitable, transparent, justifiable, and acceptable to the people who employ us.”

Per the Constitution, Article 71 office holders include the President, the Vice-President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court, Members of Parliament (MPs), Ministers of State, political appointees, and public servants with salaries charged to the Consolidated Fund but enjoying special constitutional privileges.

Instead of the government facilitating the loans, he said MPs should be able to secure their private loans just like anyone else.

“If the executive branch of government does not have the resources to provide duty vehicles for MPs as it does for MMDCEs, CEOs of State Institutions/SOEs, Ministers, Judges, Civil Servants, Security Services, and so on and so forth, then MPs who need car loans should be allowed to make their own private car loan arrangements with the banks just as most private-sector workers do.”

There is a loan agreement for $28 million to Parliament for the purchase of vehicles for the 275 legislators in Parliament that has prompted public criticism.

Based on the amount, each MP is expected to receive over $100,000 for the purchase of a vehicle.

The government is expected to pay 60 percent of the loan with all the accrued interest, whereas MPs will pay for just 40 percent of the loan.

The Finance Committee of Parliament is expected to consider the loan agreement and report to the House.

Find below his full statement 

I have long held the view that the entire Article 71 emoluments regime is in urgent need of a major overhaul.

We need to demolish this apartheid superstructure and create new conditions of service framework for public officials which are more equitable, transparent, justifiable and acceptable to the people who employ us.

As MPs, let us also boldly confront and discontinue the practice of government loans to purchase vehicles for MPs. If the executive branch of government does not have the resources to provide duty vehicles for MPs as it does for MMDCEs, CEOs of State Institutions/SOEs, Ministers, Judges, Civil Servants, Security Services, and so on and so forth, then MPs who need car loans should be allowed to make their own private car loan arrangements with the banks just as most private sector workers do. That will simply require that government stop the monthly deductions from MP’s salaries so we will be free to broker individual car loan deals based on our salary structure, constituency terrain and other personal preferences.

I honestly hope many colleague MPs will agree with me so we join forces and get Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to withdraw his MP’s car loan agreement from Parliament. MPs have been deliberately thrown under the bus and subjected to needless opprobrium one too many.

Fortunately, Rt. Hon. Speaker Bagbin has been a long time advocate for a uniform duty vehicle policy in the public sphere which does not discriminate between Ministers, MMDCEs, CEOs, Judges and MPs — I strongly believe we can count on his support as we pursue this mission.

Deep reflection is needed on just how long the political class can keep stoking the anger levels of the masses beyond boiling point? We must not underestimate the people’s grave revulsion and its volcanic consequences on the stability and sustainability of our democracy.

Time to adopt a totally new and sincere paradigm.

Source: citifmonline

Source: CelebritiesBuzzGh.Com | Ablakwa calls for ‘major overhaul’ of Article 71 emoluments regime

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