Parliament has approved a $28 million loan facility for members to purchase cars for their official duties.
The House on Thursday, July 15 also approved a $13.36 million facility as tax exemption for all Members of Parliament and Council of State to purchase cars.
The Vehicle Loans Agreement was brought before the House by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
The facility will see the state paying 60 percent of the cost of the vehicles for the parliamentarians.
But the move has divided opinion in the House after public backlash
MP for North Tongu Constituency Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on Tuesday, July 13 announced that he had co-sponsored a Private Member’s Motion with colleague member for Okaikoi Central, Patrick Boamah, who doubles as the Vice Chairman of the Finance Committee, to have the House reject Mr Ofori-Atta’s motion
This was admitted by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin, for urgent debate, according to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP
However, on Thursday members voted overwhelmingly to approve the facility.
Nonetheless, this is going to be the last to be brought before the House as a recommendation by the Finance Committee to have such a move for each Parliament every four years discontinued was also approved.
Speaking on the floor of the House, Chairman of the Committee Kwaku Agyemang Kwarteng, who is also MP for Obuasi West Constituency, said lawmakers and Council of State members should have similar duty-post vehicle arrangements as other Article 71 office holders, who purchase cars from their emoluments.
“The Committee respectfully recommends that Parliament and the Parliamentary Service take the necessary steps to ensure that this happens,” he stated.
“The instant vehicle loan arrangement for MPs and Council of State Members before us today should therefore be the last one the state is sponsoring.”