He said rather than “scoff” at his sacrificial gesture, his critics should follow suit.
Finance Minister Seth Terkper announced the 10% pay cut in the salaries of all members of the Executive arm of Government, including the President and his Vice, when he presented the 2014 budget in Parliament a couple of weeks ago.
The austerity measure, which has been described as a PR gimmick by the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), takes effect from January 2014.
Cumulatively, the pay cut will accrue about Ghc800, 000 per month, according to Terkper.
President Mahama said Saturday that the amount will go into building Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHIPS) compounds to supplant mainstream health delivery in the country.
“It is our plan to complete another 1,600 units of CHIPS compounds by the year 2016. This falls in line with a decision taken by myself and my Cabinet and other political appointees to voluntarily donate 10% of our salaries to go into the construction of special purpose CHIPS compounds dedicated to maternal and neo-natal health”, the President told an audience when he launched, in Accra, a Campaign for Accelerated Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA).
According to the President, rather than criticising his austere initiative, his critics should do same for the benefit of the nation.
He said: “I have heard some people scoff at our effort and ask ‘how much will that amount to?’ But imagine this; if all public sector employees followed our example and gave just 2% of their salaries to build CHIPS compounds, we’ll be able to build 2,000 CHIPS compounds across the country”.