Allowances for presidential spouses already covered under Presidency budget

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Former President John Mahama says allowances for the spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents are already provided for under the budget of the Office of the President.

In a statement responding to the debate on the recommended emoluments for allowances for the spouses of Presidents and Vice Presidents, Mr. Mahama explained that these allowances date back to the Rawlings Administration.

“Some recommendations were made to provide allowances to the spouses of the President and Vice President and additionally, as a gesture of reconciling with our past, the spouses of former Presidents and Heads of State.”

“Since this convention was established by the Rawlings administration, issues in respect of allowances of the spouses of the President and Vice President and spouses of former Presidents and Heads of State have largely been handled administratively and provided for under the budget of the Office of the President,” he added.

Mr. Mahama further explained that the practice thus far had been that, for the advocacy and humanitarian roles they play, some expenses of the spouses of the President and Vice President in carrying out their expected roles are funded by the Office of the President.

He said this includes fuelling of vehicles, security, clerical staff, stationery, hosting of local and foreign guests and all such expenditures.

“The distinction must be made, however, that this is separate from allowances payable to spouses of the President, Vice President, former Presidents, former Vice Presidents and former Heads of State.”

The recommended emoluments 

The emoluments were part of recommendations by the five-member Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu was set up in June 2019 by President Nana Akufo-Addo to make recommendations on the salaries and other gratuities of Article 71 officeholders.

Per the recommended emoluments, the spouse of the President is to be entitled to the payment of a salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister MP while in office.

After leaving office, they will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State MP if the spouse served one full term as President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as President.

For the spouse of the Vice President, they will be entitled to payment of salary equivalent to a Cabinet Minister non-MP when in office.

After leaving office, the spouse of the Vice President will be entitled to a salary equivalent to 80 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served one full term as the Vice President or 100 percent of the salary of a Minister of State non-MP if the spouse served two or more full terms as Vice President.

Lawsuits against allowances for presidential spouses

Two suits have already been filed at the Supreme Court to challenge the payments to the First and Second Ladies.

The opposition National Democratic Congress, as well as the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), have all served notice of going to court over the same issue.

 

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