The Deputy Minister-nominee for Finance, John Kumah, has hit back at persons criticizing government officials for living a profligate lifestyle at the expense of poor living conditions of the average citizen and national development.
Appearing on the Monday, May 10, 2021, edition of Citi TV’s Point of View, the Ejisu Member of Parliament argued that despite the nation facing problems that require efficient and cost-effective spending, taking away the privileges of officials including MPs will not automatically translate into alleviating the plight of the average Ghanaian.
“I totally agree with you. What I am saying is that when these savings have been done, we will still come back to ‘people are suffering’ because these are structural issues and we need long-term planning and ideas to resolve them. Sometimes, in your attempt to deprive certain opportunities for those who are serving, you may even be compounding the solution rather than allowing them to be able to drive well to go to work and do the same work,” he said.
In a back-and-forth argument with the host, Bernard Avle, the Deputy Minister argued that in the case of MPs, their job makes it incumbent for them to enjoy the privileges they enjoy.
“Let me tell you, the Member of Parliament’s V8 is bought with his own money, it’s a loan. I don’t get the point we are making. Are you saying that you are the same as the Member of Parliament? The car that he drives, he is buying it with his own money,” he stated.
Asked about the disparity in the end-of-term benefits of MPs and that of a nurse who may have worked for a decade, Mr Kumah retorted saying MPs by virtue of their work have a lot of duties bestowed on them.
Bernard Avle: When he (an MP) leaves power after 10-years how much does he take home, is that the same as what the nurse who has served for 10-years take home?
John Kumah: But you, at the end of the week, how many funerals do you attend?
Benard Avle: Me? I don’t have many funerals.
Jonh Kumah: You don’t even attend any. Yes, the Member of Parliament has to attend about 10 funerals.
Bernard Avle: Is that part of your job description?
John Kumah: Yes, it is.