‘What do presidents pay for? They wouldn’t be paid if I had my way – George Loh
A former Member of Parliament for North Dayi, George Loh, believes Presidents should not even have salaries for symbolic purposes.
Commenting on the controversy over emoluments for spouses of sitting and former Presidents and Vice Presidents, Mr. Loh argued that the President had no need for a salary whilst in office.
“I have always said that even presidents, for cosmetic reasons, if I had the opportunity, the president shouldn’t even take a salary.”
“Sincerely speaking, what does the President pay for? When he becomes President of Ghana having been sworn in and taken office, what does he pay for? When he is moving around, there is always an expendable imprest,” Mr. Loh argued on The Big Issue.
He however said the Presidents should retire on their salary amounts “because they should not come and serve and go into penury.”
Mr. Loh stressed that he was against emoluments for spouses of sitting and former Presidents and Vice Presidents.
His major concern in the matter was that the proposals on the emoluments for presidential spouses by the five-member Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu set up to make recommendations on the salaries and other gratuities of Article 71 officeholders run contrary to the constitution.
“My greatest worry though is that the committee itself recognised and yet went ahead to recommend. I don’t understand… I don’t even know what went into the thinking of the committee to even make this proposal.”
“President Akufo-Addo himself, he is a lawyer by all standards. He should have known that this cannot hold,” Mr. Loh added.
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.
The recommended emoluments
Per the recommended emoluments, the spouse of the President is to be entitled to the payment of a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister-MP while in office.
After leaving office, they will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served one full term as President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.
For the spouse of the Vice President, they will be entitled to payment of salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister non-MP when in office.
After leaving office, the spouse of the Vice President will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served one full term as the Vice President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.