Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament in Ghana, has expressed his perplexity over the public’s negative reaction to salary increases for Members of Parliament (MPs), especially when the same constituents often approach their elected representatives for financial assistance.
During a public forum in Takoradi, Bagbin noted that despite citizens seeking financial aid from their MPs for various reasons such as school fees, hospital bills, charitable donations, and contributions to local events, there is resistance to any news of MP salary increments. He pointed out the contradiction in people knocking on MPs’ doors for financial support while simultaneously opposing salary hikes for those very MPs.
Bagbin observed that this inconsistency indicates a larger issue that needs to be addressed. He highlighted the dichotomy between public expectations for MPs to provide assistance and their reluctance to accept any improvement in the remuneration of those elected officials.
This sentiment echoes previous remarks made by a former National Democratic Congress MP, Daniel Ashiamah. He had revealed that during his time in parliament, he paid substantial fees for constituents’ children’s education and medical expenses while his own son’s school fees went unpaid, highlighting the financial strains faced by MPs to fulfill the expectations of their constituents.
Bagbin and Ashiamah’s comments bring to light the complexities of being an MP and the competing demands they face, both in terms of serving their constituents and maintaining their own financial stability.