Gov't to take up 60% cost of vehicles for MPs, Council of State members

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta
The government will be absorbing 60 per cent cost of the vehicles for Members of Parliament and Council of State members, according to available documents.

This was contained in the emolument committee report which has been approved by Parliament.

According to the document, each member of these two bodies is to receive a loan of $100,000 for the purchase of a vehicle.

A $3.5 million separate facility from the same bank has also been laid for the purchase of vehicles by members of the council of state.

“The repayment of the facility by the beneficiaries shall be made from deduction at source by the Parliamentary Service of Ghana to the NIB.

“The repayment by the beneficiaries and the Government of Ghana shall be made at the end of every month for the duration of the agreement,” the loan agreement presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister said.

Last week Ghana’s Finance Minister submitted to parliament for approval a loan agreement of $28 million pending consideration by the Finance Committee.

This is for the purchase of 275 vehicles for members of the 8th Parliament.

Pundits have raised issues against some of these decisions.

For instance, a United State based Ghanaian Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare said “Government gives the beneficiaries $27,500,000 (i.e., $100,000 * 275) and the beneficiaries pay government $11,000,000 ($40,000 * 275) over 45 months. The difference of $16,500,000 plus the interest of $4,561,666 are non-taxable wealth transfer from government to the beneficiaries.”

“You cannot give someone $100,000 plus interests and ask that they give you $40,000 over 4 years and call that a loan. Plainly, you are giving the person a non-taxable gift of $60,000 plus interest structured to disguise its substance. Let us call a loan a loan and a gift a gift”.

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By Laud Nartey||Ghana