North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has urged his fellow lawmakers, to join forces to compel Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to withdraw a US$28-million loan facility he recently tabled before parliament for approval as car loans for the 275 legislators.
As MPs, Mr Ablakwa wrote on social media, “let us also boldly confront and discontinue the practice of government loans to purchase vehicles for MPs”.
He said: “If the executive branch of government does not have the resources to provide duty vehicles for MPs, as it does for MMDCEs, CEOs of state institutions/SOEs, ministers, judges, civil servants, security services, and so on and so forth, then MPs, who need car loans should be allowed to make their own private car loan arrangements with the banks just as most private-sector workers do”.
That will simply require, he noted, that the “government stop the monthly deductions from MPs’ salaries so we will be free to broker individual car loan deals based on our salary structure, constituency terrain and other personal preferences”.
“I honestly hope many colleague MPs will agree with me so we join forces and get Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to withdraw his MPs’ car loan agreement from Parliament”, he noted.
He bemoaned that “MPs have been deliberately thrown under the bus and subjected to needless opprobrium one too many”.
Fortunately, he pointed out, Speaker Alban Bagbin “has been a longtime advocate for a uniform duty vehicle policy in the public sphere, which does not discriminate between Ministers, MMDCEs, CEOs, Judges and MPs”, adding: “I strongly believe we can count on his support as we pursue this mission”.
Mr Ablakwa said “deep reflection is needed on just how long the political class can keep stoking the anger levels of the masses beyond a boiling point?”
“We must not underestimate the people’s grave revulsion and its volcanic consequences on the stability and sustainability of our democracy”, he warned.
“Time to adopt a totally new and sincere paradigm”, the MP suggested.