Parliament approves $31 million auto loans for MPs
the House also approved a tax exemption of $13.3 million for the importation of vehicles for deputies and members of the Council of State.
Members of Parliament and the State Council benefited from the $13.1 million waiver despite paying only 40% of the loan facilitated by the National Investment Bank for the purchase of the cars.
The government will bear the remaining 60% of the loan with accrued interest.
Last week, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta tabled a $28 million loan agreement in Parliament for the purchase of 275 vehicles for members of the 8th Parliament.
The loan is expected to come from the National Investment Bank (NIB).
The minister also made a similar request for a $3.5 million auto loan for members of the 8th State Council so they could purchase vehicles.
However, some MPs have argued that giving them car loans is unconstitutional and that the state must provide them with vehicles.
Ejisu MP John Kumah is of the view that legislators should not get loans to buy vehicles, but the state should buy them for them through the consolidated fund.
“Why do you say that instead of charging it to the consolidated fund, you give me a loan. Loans for what? Let’s treat MPs fairly… They don’t deserve loans, they deserve cars billed from the consolidated fund,” he said on Accra-based Citi TV.
The MP for Ejisu said that the provisions of the constitution which set out the emoluments of Section 71 holders have been in existence since 1992 and indicated that all such entitlements are to be provided from the consolidated fund, and thus the practice of successive governments of granting car loans to Members of Parliament and members of the Council of State are illegal.
“It’s illegal and unconstitutional and just because we’ve made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean we have to continue.”