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Ho Municipal Assembly Members reject gov’t proposed ex-gratia, claim it’s not backed by law

The proposed end-of-service benefit by the government for the Assembly members of the 8th Assembly has highlighted a conflict between the Local Government Act and the current government’s intentions.

The proposal has been met with widespread condemnation by the Ho Municipal Assembly Members at their first General Meeting of the 9th Assembly, held on Tuesday, May 28, and Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at the Ho Municipal Assembly Hall.

Members described the proposed amounts as unlawful and a disregard for their four years of service to their electoral areas. They expressed their dissatisfaction with the end-of-service benefit, or ex gratia, proposed by the government.

During the meeting, the Ho Municipal Assembly Members passed a resolution against the government’s proposed end-of-service benefit amounts for members of the eighth assembly, arguing that the decision contradicts the law. According to the government’s letter, District Assembly Members would receive ex gratia of Two Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 2,000), Municipal Assembly Members would receive Two Thousand Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC 2,500), and Metropolitan Assembly Members would receive Three Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 3,000) for their four years of service.

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The members argued that the government’s proposal should be rejected, insisting that ex gratia payments should align with the assembly’s revenue generation capacity as stipulated by the law. They resolved to adhere to the approved and implemented budget by the assembly.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Hon. Mawunyo Agbe, the Presiding Member (PM) of the Ho Municipal Assembly, stated that the letter from the government contradicts the Local Government Act (Act 936), section 11 (2), which stipulates that the assembly should determine ex gratia payments based on its revenue capacity.

Agbe emphasized that the resolution was to adhere to the approved budget. “According to the Local Government Act, after four years, all Assembly members must be rewarded with ex gratia, considering the revenue generation capacity of the assembly, which should be included in the budget and deliberated upon to determine the payment amount.”

He further explained, “Recently, the government proposed that District Assembly Members receive Two Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 2,000), Municipal Assembly Members receive Two Thousand Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC 2,500), and Metropolitan Assembly Members receive Three Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 3,000). This proposal was perceived as an insult, considering the work we do in our electoral areas. Consequently, the Ho Municipal Assembly resolved to reject this proposal.”

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Agbe added, “We resolved not to accept the government’s proposal of GHC 2,500. Instead, we agreed to adhere to our budget, which entitles each member to not less than Four Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 4,000). We initially suggested GHC 8,000, but members agreed to stick to the budgeted amount, which totals One Hundred and Seventy-Two Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 172,000).”

Source: Modernghana.com

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