10% pay cut Withdrawal illegal – MP

A member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Kennedy Kankam says the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah acted illegally by ordering that proceeds of the 10 percent pay cuts of President Mahama’s Ministers be withdrawn from the consolidated fund, without notice to Parliament.

The Controller and Accountant General revealed Wednesday during his appearance before the PAC that a letter from the chief of staff asked for the transfer of the money in 2014.

“…as to what they have done with the money that one is not an area for us to answer because it was not statutory deductions which we should have taken and then say pay to SNNIT or pay to GRA.

“This one was a voluntary deductions so when you deduct you give it to the one who asked you to deduct on his behalf,” he said.

Former President Mahama and his vice, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, as well as all Ministers of state, under his administration voluntarily took a 10 percent pay cut beginning 2014. The move was among many austerity measures taken by the then administration to save money for the economy.

Commenting on the disclosure Mr. Kankam who is also the MP for Nhyiaeso described the order from the former Chief of Staff as inappropriate.

Speaking on Starr Today Wednesday, he  said, “…If the money has been accumulated…and the president has directed it to be taken from a special fund somewhere they are supposed to write to Parliament informing it that this is the amount of money that we are taking from the consolidated fund.”

“Nobody can just get into the consolidated fund and withdraw any money from it. Anybody who withdraws money from the consolidated fund without satisfying Article 178 is in breach of the Constitution of this country and the person must be dealt with according to law,” he added.

Meanwhile, a former schedule officer at the Flagstaff House Emelia Arthur has revealed that the proceeds of the voluntary salary cut were used to construct 12 CHPS compounds scattered across the country.