The government has been asked to reverse its plan to absorb a 60% car loan for 275 deputies and 31 members of the Council of State.
According to a senior policy analyst at the Business School of the University of Ghana, Dr Thomas Buabeng, any attempt by the government to implement the current arrangement will trigger mass industrial union action in the country.
“I am not a prophet but, if the government makes a mistake in implementing the current arrangements, we will see what will happen. It will trigger mass industrial action, everyone will be angry, ”Dr Thomas Buabeng told Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom, host of the Adom FM news program Burning Issues.
“If you ask other union workers to maintain their concerns, then the government must also maintain the payments of this loan for the deputies”, he justified his call.
The speaker, however, proposed that MPs from Accra and surrounding areas receive loans for salon cars, while those in other regions should receive SUV vehicles.
“The timing is bad; it is very bad; looking at the effects of COVID-19 on our economy, ”said Dr Buabeng warning the government to reconsider the facility following the public outcry.
Dr Thomas Buabeng therefore urged the government to show restraint in approving the $ 28 million loan facility currently before Parliament for consideration.
He also hinted that the Ghana University Teachers Association (UTAG), along with other groups, will soon rally for their share of the national pie. “You cannot give an entire university professor an electricity allowance of just Ghc 15 cedis for a whole month,” he said.
On July 6, 2021, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei Asare, on behalf of the sector minister, tabled two different loan agreements in Parliament for this purpose.
Government seeks parliamentary approval to secure a $ 28 million loan facility from the National Investment Bank for the initiative, an additional $ 3.5 million loan agreement with NIB to purchase vehicles for the 31-member state council was concluded.
According to the arrangements, the government will pay 60% of the loan facility deposited with Parliament for the purchase of vehicles for members of the 8th Parliament and members of the Council of State.
The state will bear 60% of the principal and all the interest that will come from the loan, while the deputies and members of the Council of State will also pay the remaining 40% of the loan facility.
According to the arrangement, the state will absorb $ 373,333.33 representing 60% while an amount of $ 248,888.89 representing 40% will be paid by the deputies.
According to the agreement, if approved by Parliament, each of the 275 deputies and each of the 31 members of the Council of States will receive approximately $ 100,000 towards the purchase of a vehicle.
The $ 28 million facility is to be paid within 45 months by MPs, while the $ 3.5 million loan facility is to be paid within 42 months by the Council of Member States.
The documents are currently being submitted to Parliament’s finance committee for review and report for House approval.