, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday announced that he and his Deputy President William Ruto will take a 20 percent pay cut to bring down the public wage bill.
He also said that his Cabinet and Principal Secretaries had agreed to a 10 percent pay cut at a Cabinet retreat in Nanyuki.
“We are spending close to Sh400 billion every year paying salaries which leaves us only Sh200 billion from our own resources with which to transform Kenya. We need to deal with this monster if we are to develop this nation otherwise we will sooner or later become a nation which only collects taxes to pay ourselves,” he explained.
According to the Executive pay structure gazetted by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission last year, that means President Kenyatta will now take home Sh1.32 million home instead of Sh1.65 million.
Ruto will now earn less than the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and take home Sh1.12 million as opposed to Sh1.4 million.
The Cabinet Secretaries who earned just over Sh1 million will now take Sh884,800 while Principal Secretaries who were getting 874,500 will now earn just short of Sh700,000.
Given that there are 21 Cabinet Secretaries and 26 Principal Secretaries, the cuts would mean the public wage bill would go down by Sh12 million annually.
And the Head of State acknowledged that it would take a concerted effort from all of Arms of Government to significantly reduce the public wage bill.
In the meantime, President Kenyatta said his government will also be drafting a new international travel policy which would restrict foreign travel to “none but the most essential.”
Without elaborating, he said his government would also rationalise its recurrent expenditure in a move which when taken with the others would, “significantly reduce wastage in my government.
The salaries of the independent commissions, President Kenyatta said, would also be up for debate come Monday when the Salaries and Remuneration Commission engages members of the public service.
“With Sarah Serem and parliamentarians participating, the Judiciary participating, civil servants participating, teachers participating, we will all come up with the recognition that we need to deal with this monster if we’re to develop this nation,” he said.
Following the Cabinet retreat, the terms of service of the police are set to improve with President Kenyatta committing to securing them life insurance and setting up a housing scheme for them in all 47 counties.
He also committed to within the next financial year ensure all public primary school are plugged into the national grid in light of his government’s promise to equip all public class one pupils with laptops.
These were the major resolutions of what President Kenyatta said was the first ever cabinet retreat and the first time the heads of ministries have had the opportunity to come to a consensus on the nation’s budgetary priorities.