Opinion Dear Article 71 holders, this is daylight robbery

I agree with calls for a radical rethinking of the concept of leadership in our country. I suggest a reduction in the perks enjoyed by public officials so that only those moved by conviction to serve will be attracted to the very important high offices.

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Millions of Ghanaians have been going through the snooze as a result of a faltering economy that has stagnated personal incomes and crippled small businesses.

As such, the country’s electorates voted out the sitting government and replaced it one with much promise.

President John Mahama is set to pocket a staggering 423,428 cedis as his take home salary as he adjusts to life as a former president. Members of Parliament in the just ended session (including those who were re-elected) are also set to take home 270,992 cedis.

READ ALSO: Transition: We also want a house - Mills' family

Parliament Ghana.jpg play The floor of Parliament

The least paid public servant on the Single Spine Salary structure earns 207.90 cedis every month while the highest paid public servant earns 4,325.20 cedis.

This means that the least paid worker earns just one person of an MPs’ salary and would take him/her seven years to make earn an MPs monthly salary.

The highest paid worker would have to wait three months to earn the monthly pay of an MPs’ salary which is 22 percent of a legislator’s salary.

It has become tradition that during every four years, public outcry over the so called ex-gratia for elected public officials. These Article 71 public officials (including the president, the speaker and members of parliament) after four years of relative luxury at the expense of the ordinary Ghanaian, conspire to award themselves huge sums of money, fictitiously termed ex-gratia (which in supposed to be favour).

READ ALSO: Mahama bags 420,000, MPs pocket 271,000 as take home salary

play Doe Adjaho, the immediate past Speaker of Parliament.

When ordinary Ghanaians see the fat salaries of elected officials, it only fuels the perception that politics is an avenue for making money. Sadly, this firmly entrenched view in the minds of many Ghanaians can no longer be described as perception.

It is no wonder that citizens make numerous demands on politicians including paying school fees and funeral contributions; because they know the politicians have the money.

While many Ghanaians wallow in abject poverty and in need of essential public services delivered to them, our politicians only care about enriching themselves and this MUST STOP.

I agree with calls for a radical rethinking of the concept of leadership in our country.

READ ALSO: New Government: 7th Parliament must not be as corrupt as 5th & 6th Parliament

I suggest a reduction in the perks enjoyed by public officials so that only those moved by conviction to reform and serve will be attracted to the very important high offices. Because it is these perks that attract money-thirsty individuals to public office.

It is important that as journalists, we begin to ask uncomfortable questions to our politicians and challenge the status quo. We owe the good people that and cannot renege on it.

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