According to the Bishops and the Deans, the fleecing of the poor makes their (poor) standard of living very hard, while thoseThat within the Article 71 goes to enjoy the little proceeds from the poor.
Bishop Nathaniel Rudolph, Director of Public Sector Engagement of College Of Bishops, raised these concerns in a statement issued in Accra last Friday.
He made the comments with regards rent, occupancy and maintenance, and others, that the bungalows are allocated to persons occupying high positions in government, civil service, department and agencies.
He said among such are the Article 71 categories of workers; “…these article 71 holders according to Gyagri F. Baalaah favours only 0.00178% of Ghana’s population and yet they amass virtually all the wealth of the nation”.
“….these categories of Ghanaian workers earn an average of sixteen thousand cedis (₵16,000.00) salaries in addition to all manner of allowances and even entertainment allowances and they do not pay rent”.
Bishop Rudolph alleges the government also pays their drivers, cooks, securities, rents, electricity tariffs, virtually everything, at the expense of the struggling poor in the society.
In his statement, Bishop Rudolph, Director, Public Sector Engagement of Bishops and Deans, hinted their outfit have been reminding the government consistently need to urgently to implement the “SEND Ghana campaign on Promoting Progressive Tax for Inclusive Development (PPTID)”.
Although, he noted the policy will not solve all of Ghana’s problems, but stressed it would reduce what he described as “needless death”, as a result of unjust tax policies ostensibly targeted at the poor in the society.
Bishop Rudolph further alleged the Communications Director of Ghana Gas, Owusu Bempah, revealed that government officials and agencies owe Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in excess of twenty-four million cedis (₵24,000,000.00) for this year only, and the ECG is unable to also honour their debt obligation through Volta River Authority (VRA) to Ghana Gas (GG).
“This cost burden occasioned by these few high-positioned workers of our society will be passed on to the ordinary citizen who earns next to nothing to cough out these millions of cedis through the introduction of another regressive tax”, Bishop lamented.
“….In the event that they are unable to raise the needed amount, the same government will turn around to blame these companies for lack of performance, and offer the reason to sell the institution to a private entity”, he posited.
In addition, the Bishop stated that “this sheer propensity to fleece the poor in order to maintain offensive aggrandized lifestyle at the expense of the ordinary Ghanaian is quite sinful and must be stopped if we possess any semblance of godliness.
This, he said was what is happening with government bungalows put up by state (tax) funds. In a related development, he alleged the Works and Housing Minister (WHM), Samuel Atta-Akyea had earlier stated that cronies of some public officials are occupying state bungalows without paying rent.
In his statement, Bishop Rudolph quizzed, “if people are occupying bungalows without paying rent, what is the ministry doing about it”. “I do not think the Minister of Works and Housing will complain if he put up that bungalow from his personal funds”.
“…There are about five or six categories of people who have decided to do their own thing with government properties”, as he alleged there are people who have been on retirement for so many years, sometimes about five to six years, and are still living in government properties and are not paying anything to government”.
Bishop Rudolph also revealed that according to the Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Freda Prempeh “the other category is also on retirement but they have given the apartment out to their nieces, their nephews, their friends and colleagues amongst many others”.
“Others also left the apartment and abandoned it and nobody is living there and there are some people living in government bungalows that we do not even have their data in the office”, he noted.
The statement further indicated that there are names on the data base, but their data are not on that of the Controller and Accountant General so they do not pay anything to the government.
Also the statement quoted the deputy minister saying, “…We have more than 1000 properties in Accra and if each person is paying even GHS100 per month we could have used the money to build more affordable houses”.
The deputy minister statement and that of her boss Atta Akyea, goes to confirm that, officers in government bungalows do not pay rent and bills.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Delali A. Awuyeh
Bishop Nathaniel Rudolph Director, Public Sector Engagement College