by Israel Boafo Bansah

“The Prosecution Of Public Policy and Our Exercise of responsibility in public office not be myopically contained by that which is only legal but even more, that is which is sound in politia (political wisdom)” and that is why the recent raise in the salary of article 71 office holders pay raise is legal but politically unwise and very demoralizing to the people they claim to serve.
It was all over the major news Portal of how heavy the salaries of our President, Vice President , Speaker of Parliament, Chief Justice, Ministers of State and Members of Parliament As well as others had been raised, we were told it was a 10% raise.
A lot of people expressed misgivings about this on the various WhatsApp platforms I find myself on, some even went as far as saying they were lies because they couldn’t fathom why an economy these politicians claim is broke could sustain such huge figures.
And, indulge me, before I proceed with further comments, let me calculate for you how it will cost the taxpayer to pay only these three categories of workers, the 19 Ministers of State, the over 35 Deputy Ministers of State and the 275 Members of Parliament.
I’m using only these three categories to give an impression of how much we’ll doll out, Council of State members are not included as well as many other Article 71 office holders and for the avoidance of doubt, I’ll calculate all this on the basis that all those are only Ministers of State and Dep. Ministers of State (Non MPs) and our Members of Parliament.
For the 19 Ministers of State who are taking home _*GHC 15,739*_, it will cost us *_GHC 299, 000_* every month, for the over 35 Deputy Ministers who are taking _*GHC 14,598*_ (Calculation based on 35), it will cost us _*GHC 510, 000*_ every month and for the 275 Members of Parliament who will receive _*GHC 12,442*_, it will cost the taxpayer _*GHC 3, 421, 550.*_ Meanwhile some MPs don’t even attend Parliamentary Meetings.
These three office holders’ salaries will cost us *_GHC 4, 231, 480_* every month and a whooping _*GHC 50, 777, 760*_ per annum (every year. Now if you add the other office holders salary, per annum, the taxpayer will pay these men and women over _*70 Million Ghana Cedis,*_ you may do your own calculation, I don’t want to bore you with much numbers.
They are taking three times higher than our Per Capita Income (that’s if our whole resources are shared among all citizens), and some of these people who will take these salaries or are taking (because it takes retrospective effect from 2013) were shouting on the rooftops that it will overburden the economy when the National Service Allowance was increased by less than a paltry 300 Cedis. But obviously, you can see this wouldn’t.
What kind of imagery are we painting to the outside world, for a country, that goes all around the world, cup in hand borrowing, claiming a broke economy, is doing all these.
But the ordinary worker, your mum and mine in the civil service, in the public service who are working so hard gets very little. And it explains the reason why everybody, jokers alike, are all fighting to enter parliament or become Ministers or Deputy Ministers.
And it’s a microcosm of the bigger picture. And by the time we know, we will be using more than 90% of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to pay salaries and we’ll see how our economy will grind to a halt.
You may draw your own inference. It’s a tragedy! Shaking My Head!
Written By: Kwaku Asante

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