An associate professor at the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana, Prof. Festus Ebo Turkson is suggesting that the size of Parliament should be reduced to cut down on government expenditure.
According to him, the size of Ghana’s economy and population does not merit the huge number of parliamentarians it has.
Speaking on The Big Issue on Saturday, Prof. Ebo Turkson said proposals for the size of Parliament to be increased by 13 more seats does not make governance or economic sense especially given the inadequate revenue of the country.
“The time has come when we need to have a discussion on whether our parliamentary system is not having an overbearing impact on our expenditures as well. I think that a Ghana with the size of our economy and population shouldn’t have more than 150 members of Parliament, especially when we have a local government system right from the assembly member to the assembly that is already in charge of the grassroots governance,” he said.
He also called for a review of the ex-gratia system as a way of reducing the wage bill and overall expenditure.
“Rather than build a bigger chamber, we need to reduce the number of MPs because that is a big outlay of our budget especially every four years when we have to look for money to pay ex-gratia to MPs. Our revenue is not in touch with our expenditure. It is part of the way that we need to rationalize our expenditure,” he noted.
In the 2022 budget, the government has projected total revenue and grants at GH¢100.5 billion, equivalent to 20 percent of GDP.
Total expenditure, on the other hand, is projected at GH¢137 billion, equivalent to 27.4 percent of GDP. The estimate for 2022 represents a growth of 23.2 percent.
The key drivers of expenditure growth include capital expenditure, funding of key government flagship programmes, wage bill, and interest payments.