, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has dimmed the hopes of Members of Parliament of getting a pay hike when he reminded them that the current wage bill was unsustainable.
Kenyatta, who was speaking during the official opening of the 11th Parliament, said the wage bill must be reduced because it risked choking the resources meant for development.
The Head of State explained that salaries already took Sh458 billion in the current budget and stood at more than 12 percent of the country’s GDP.
“This wage bill is well above the internationally accepted standard of 7 percent and accounts for almost half of the revenue collected by Government. This is unsustainable and poses a serious threat to the funding of important development projects,” he argued.
He further urged all arms of government to work together and aim towards bringing it down so as to help Kenyans realise their dreams of being a middle income economy by 2030.
Kenyatta said that there was urgent need to manage Kenya’s resources prudently in addition to streamlining the inadequacies that already exist in the country’s pay structures.
“Our focus both as the Executive and the Legislature must be on reducing the cost of living and making Kenya much more competitive thereby increasing opportunities while improving the standard of living,” he observed.
Members of Parliament have been demanding for a pay hike saying the current Sh535,000 gross pay per month is too little.
The Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) is already in talks with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) negotiating for a pay hike. However the SRC maintains that it cannot give in to the MPs demands unless the country’s economy improves.
The SRC gazetted the slashed rates in February and before the MPs took over office.
According to the pay structures the President will take home a gross salary of Sh1.24 million per month while Governors will earn a gross of Sh640,000 per month.
Some MPs had also vowed to seek amendments to the SRC Act if their demands were not met. However, such an amendment would require a referendum because it touches on the mandate of an independent constitutional Commission.
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