“False standards are set with salary scales for MPs, Ministers and top civil servants that the country cannot possibly afford in a time when examples not of extravagance but of austerity and sacrifice should be set.”
Oginga Odinga writing in his 1967 autobiography Not Yet Uhuru.
The salaries and remuneration commission (SRC) has proposed a cut in the pay and perks of lawmakers from the next parliamentary term 2017-2022. The MPs currently earn Ksh 710,000, and when you add the hefty allowances and perks, this amount can double. The proportion of benefits in gross salaries accounts for well over 50 percent the legislators pay. The bulk of these allowances (e.g., attending parliament, committee, travel, clothes ) seem to accrue to over 1 million a month.
The New proposal for the incoming 12th parliament will reduce MPs basic salary to Kshs 621,150. The commission also proposes to abolish annual pay increments and allowances for attending Parliament and serving in committees. The SRC recommendation also restricts transport allowance and gets rid off mileage reimbursement. Also abolished is a KSh 5 million official car grant.
Golden Parachute for each of the196 MPs who lost their seats after 1 term in the August 2017 election will be a whopping Ksh 18.8 million. This is a heavy burden on the Taxpayers who will have to shoulder an additional lifetime upkeep of Ksh.125000 per month for each of the MPs.
Why should MPS get a pay cut?
For the Kenyan government to provide goods and services to its citizens, it has first to collect a tax that would in turn be used to pay for these goods and services. Ideally the government would allocate more to services that the people of kenya need like health, security etc. However in Kenya we spend more money paying the civil servants.
The current wage bill in Kenya is a burden and has been has been rising significantly in recent years, creating a risk to fiscal sustainability. The IMF recommends it be below 35% and we are currently spend 52% of the domestic revenue on the wage bill.
In the past, there was an argument to made for increasing the power of legislators by increasing their pay. The ratio of the president’s pay to MPs’ clearly shows that the legislators pay are no longer at the behest of the president. After independence, in the sixties, the president made 12.5 times what the MPs made. That ratio has since shrunk to 2.3.
On average, public wages exceed their private comparators by about 20 percent.
The civil service performance appraisal is not based on the base pay basis, but it is applied to arbitrary benefits, which different government sectors opt to advance to employees in their institutions. This has led to some job categories such as legislators being entitled to more allowances than others, with individual incomes from allowances supplementing to a large extent the basic remuneration. This has contributed to inequalities in wages across job categories and across government subsectors and the disconnect leading to striking workers in the health and education sector. As of today , Kenyan nurses have been on strike for over two months and the Teacher Service Commision just issued a seven day notice of intended strike.
Why are Kenyans upset?
In 2013 the MPs played the same game, they sent the women legislators to test the waters, President Uhuru promised he would not sign a bill to increase salaries, Kenyans protested and occupied parliament with pigs and in the end, they hiked their allowances
Kenyans , please don’t let the MPs play us for fools. Let’s stay vigilant and say no to MP salary increases.If we can recall them let us do that, if we can let our leaders know everyday that we do not agree- we will do that