It is insensitive to charge teachers 10% for accommodation when ‘so-called’ Article 71 Office Holders enjoy free accommodation-EFL

The Economic Fighters League has underscored the need for the government to extend the payment of rent to Article 71 officeholders if it still wants teachers to pay for their accommodation.

“We have been waiting to see another directive for same policy to be applied to ministers and deputy ministers in so called article 71 salary and emoluments category. However, we have waited in vain.”

It is the case of the youth group that the decision to make teachers alone pay for their rent was not the best..

To them, although the government was looking for avenues to cut down cost to help resolve the economic crisis we currently facing, it is insensitive to make teachers pay for their accommodation.

“The country seems to be in dire need of revenue, and you seem to be looking everywhere to squeeze every pesewa. Be that as it may, the directive to charge teachers 10% flat rate on their salaries for accommodation in government bungalows is extremely insensitive at a time when Ghanaians are feeling the pinch of the economic woes that the country finds itself in or rather that the government has plunged it, except perhaps those of you in the branches of government. After all, by the facilities of your offices under article 71, you are entitled to almost everything for free, so that even though you take some of the highest salaries in the public sector, you hardly buy anything from your salaries including rent.

It said “Austerity measures must be evenly and proportionately implemented across all institutions of governance and services. Selectively targeting workers on meager wages and salaries is a move condemnable by Economic Fighters League.”

The statement said “In other words, ministers are not only allowed to stay in government accommodation for free, but they are also paid if such accommodation is not available or if they choose not to stay in it.

What is your judgment of the morality of the situation where those who take high salaries are not asked to pay for their accommodation which they can afford, rather those whose take-home pay can hardly take them home are paying for everything? We certainly hope you find it repugnant. And if you do, can you see why many Ghanaians are now calling for a New Constitution that will cater for the needs of all rather than the luxuries of a few?

Certainly, if you are looking for money from various sources, the teachers’ accommodation is not the best place to look. Rather you can raise a lot of money from making ministers pay for their accommodation. The table below indicates the accommodation allowance each minister is entitled to in lieu of official accommodation according to the Yaa-Ntiamoah Baidu report.

With prices of all these things increasing astronomically lately, it is clear that any attempt to extract money from teachers and other low-wage earners is extremely insensitive. For while everybody is being asked to tighten their belts, these people’s belts are made of thorns.

If the state needs money, you know where to look.”


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