Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has observed that the huge remuneration and emoluments of politicians compared to other public sector workers has made them endangered species.
In an interview on Starr FM, the lawmaker said politicians earn what he called ‘decent earnings’ which included ex-gratia – a preserve of Article 71 officeholders comprising largely of the political class.
He however maintained that the widely held perception that politics makes one rich was inaccurate.
According to him, although politics does not make one rich, it makes them better off than other public sector workers considering their entitlements.
“There’s this perception out there that politics makes you rich, it is not an accurate perception. However let me add that politics also….let us be sincere, honest…It doesn’t also make you so broke and all of that.
“I believe in being sincere, being brutally frank. You are paid, you earn salaries and let’s be honest, in the category of public sector workers that we find ourselves, we are the only ones [article 71 office holders] who get the condition of service we get. Ex gratia and all of that.
“I will be honest to admit that it comes with some decent earnings. Those [other public sector workers] who may be lucky to find themselves in some international companies, international conglomerates maybe earning better particularly those who earn in foreign currency but how many are they?
“If you look at the category of public sector workers, there’s a wide disparity and it’s scientific. The emolument committee report confirmed that there’s even a widening gap between Article 71 office holders and other public sector workers.
“We must also be conscious about that and to say that yes, it [politics] doesn’t make you rich but you are still better off when you compare yourself to other public sector workers and I think that we must honestly be working to bridging that gap because it makes us [politicians] endangered species.
“A lot of the hatred that politicians are being subjected to, even the name-calling is because of these wide disparities,” Mr. Ablakwa said on The Starr Chat on Wednesday, April 20.
The ranking member on Parliament’s foreign Affairs committee added that it was only greedy politicians who had soo much money.
In his view, politicians who want to make an impact do not have money.
“To answer the question directly, does politics make you rich…I will say No. It does not. As I speak to you if I told you what I had in my personal account, you will be surprised. You will dispute it.
“You will think that I’m making it up. You can talk to our bankers, friends…they will tell you that these politicians they are really living hand to mouth especially if you want to be relevant, you want to be useful to your people,” he emphasized.
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