NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3 – County Assembly Speakers have now joined those clamouring for higher pay saying the amount allocated to the County Assembly Representatives was too low.
Chairman of the Speakers Caucus Nur Nassir said the Sh79,000 salary each County Rep across Kenya is not sufficient remuneration for their duties.
Nassir is now asking the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to harmonise their salaries with those of other civil servants.
“We have been trying to engage SRC on the issue pertaining to remuneration and particularly with respect to the County Assembly members. The remuneration is not well formulated and coordinated in terms of cadre, hierarchy and in terms of how they should be harmonised,” he stated.
The move by the county speakers follows demands by MPs for their salaries to be increased by 32 percent.
The legislators have complained that their salary would not be enough to repay mortgages on new homes or loans on new cars to which they were now entitled.
He at the same time termed the slashing of the budgetary allocation to county government in the recently released budget estimates as unreasonable.
“We think that at a time when counties are supposed to take off, this is uncalled for. The Treasury, Parliament and all other statutory bodies that are part and parcel of budget formulation should give the county governments enough budget to kick off. If this country is serious about devolution, we have to devolve as much funds as required for this,” he stated.
The Treasury set up county governments for a difficult financial year with a deep cut in their Budget allocation beginning July 1.
County governments will receive Sh32.5 billion less than the Sh231.1 billion that the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) had determined as their share of the national revenue in the 2013/14 financial year.
This leaves the 47 county governments with Sh198.7 billion to share and spend on devolved functions, including remuneration of county executive, county assembly, county public board members and provision of key services such as health and agriculture.
Sharing of the money is based on total revenue of Sh920,375,000,000 with the national government taking Sh721.8 billion and Sh3.4 billion going to the Equalisation Fund.
The proposals are contained in the Division of Revenue Bill that National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale presented to the House on Tuesday evening.