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09.11.2003 Feature Article

MPs Need To Do Their Maths

MPs Need To Do Their Maths
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Upon reading the article “MPs Panic Over Payment of Car Loans” it dawned on me that even if the Mps were to repay all their $300 monthly salary towards the repayment of the $20000 loan, during their four year tenure, they still wouldn’t be in the position to settle the loan, which begs the question: why were the MPs offered a sum of money in loan which is disproportionate to their income and ability to repay? Undeniably, the MPs should have foreseen the financial problems the loan would cause, in view of the deepness of their pockets! Presumably, these MPs have enough IQ to represent the best interest of their communities. It’s hard to imagine that these MPs could not do basic arithmetic: $300 x 12 x 4 = $14400! No doubt some MPs have other businesses which supplement their income, however, in the absence of such supplementary income, it appears the loan amount was well beyond their means. To that end, the powers that be, which granted the loan are also at fault for failing to conduct a proper means test in order to grant a level of money in line with the MPs income during their tenure in parliament. Perhaps the MPs had hoped to mysteriously make up the short fall during their four year tenure, an expectation which in itself has fallen short! However, commonsense, suggest that as a responsible person, you do not spend money beyond your means, especially if you do not want the burden of finding the money to pay back. How can people whose ability to manage their own finances is somewhat wanting, represent the best interest of their communities? Perhaps our MPs were naïve to think they could afford to repay a $20000 loan or perhaps we the electorates were so naïve to put our faith in the individuals we chose as MPs. As a nation striving to develop, we should be clear on one point: when we accept or opt to do a job, knowing beforehand what the job pays, we should be content with our pay and honour our obligation. It damages our nation, both economically and psychologically when the people we elect, take and demand astronomical salaries. People who hold public office in poor nations should as a rule not seek to have the benefit of the high standards of living enjoyed by their counterparts in advanced nations, even if they have had the same level of education and qualification. Advanced nations have the resources to offer such benefits. We simply haven’t got to that level yet. Hence, the nation should cut its coat according to its size. MPs need to be doing their maths properly and avoid overstretching the nation’s finances. They must refrain from taking the nation’s money just because they can and seek to find ways to achieve the type of economic growth we can all enjoy. Mr. Leeo Eibuk. A Patriotic Ghanaian. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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