- The opposition Ghana National Party (GNP) wants the government to slash the remuneration of ministers to cut down expenditures.
Ghana has already announced its preparedness to slash by half investment expenditure of all ministers, departments and agencies so as to save money to meet the current hikes in global fuel prices.
According to the GNP leader, Mr. Samuel Ofori Ampofo, it has become necessary to cut down remuneration of ministers and public officials, even though this was not enough to achieve the country's intended objective.
"The government of Ghana must follow the example of the Ivorian government, which on Thursday, July 19, 2008 announced 50% cut on salaries of all government officials in order to fund the importation of crude oil," said Mr. Ampofo in a statement, revealing that the government's expenditure on salaries, allowances and privileges eat up 30% of the national budget.
He said a November 2006 local newspaper report - the Greenstreet Committee Report on Conditions of Service for Ministers - should be publicly scrutinised. The report placed ministers of state on A 125 maximum salary level, free fully accommodation or additional 20% of basic salary in lieu, and several allowances, among others.
The ministers' allowances included 30% and 50% of basic salary. The privileges, facilities and utilities entailed driver of the car, transport fuel, telephone, water, a cook, steward, gardener a day watchman and a night watchman.
"Even though we do not have empirical figures, we believe with this arrangement the nation spends between GHc8,000 and GHc10,000 on each government official per month and view it as irresponsible application of the national revenue," said the party's statement.
It wondered why the successive governments - civilian and military - had not solved the problem. The GNP would not countenance what it called a "daylight robbery" arrangement.
"We would like to state unequivocally that we do not subscribe to this kind of colonial arrangement where officials of Government hide behind allowances and privileges to rob the nation of money that could be saved for national development.
"We therefore recommend a consolidation of all those allowances and privileges into a taxable income just as any civil servant earns a month," the GNP said.
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