Ghanaian Legislators are to earn 20 times more than their compatriots in the UK Parliament with the approval of a 17% pay rise by government dating back to 2009.
Government approved a report by the Ewurama Addy Committee which among others, proposed a monthly salary of Ghc7, 200 to Parliamentarians, as against their current monthly earning of about Ghc3, 000.
The MPs, who had demanded a 20% pay rise, will also be given a free laptop computer each to improve the quality of democracy.
This came after the International Monetary Fund revised down its estimates for oil revenue due next year, which will barely cover a broader public sector pay deal.
However local think tank IMANI-Ghana, has claimed that this monthly salary for the MPs is “nearly 5 times the annual per capita income in Ghana” and “also 6 times the annual average or median income in Ghana,” according to the Ghana Living Standards Survey 5.
“Compare that to the UK where the average monthly salary is 5500 pounds sterling, or about $8300 a month which is less than one-fourth of the annual per capita income in the UK. So comparatively, in accordance with the strength of their economies, Ghanaian MPs are paid 20 times better than their UK compatriots,” Executive Director of IMANI-Ghana, Franklin Cdujoe said in a statement on Tuesday.
Franklin Cudjoe said “If MPs believe they must be paid 72 times what the average Ghanaian earns before they can be reasonably comfortable then clearly as one part of the government in this country, they are admitting that the living conditions of people are indeed appalling!!!!”.
“And they shouldn’t tell us it is because they finance their own offices because we haven’t seen any research they have been producing for policies in this country – we don’t have a tradition of private member bills, and MPs never produce research on policy.
As for constituents coming to them for money, that is part of the campaign strategies they have adopted in this country,” he stated.
The IMANI-Ghana Boss also challenged claims that the MPs use their personal incomes to campaign.
“Did they use their salaries to campaign when they were aspiring to be elected? IMANI’s view is that MPs should be paid wages commensurate with senior professionals in the public service, which should in turn be tied to the national median income. 15 times the national median income may be acceptable, but 72 times?” he inquired.