NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Webuye West Member of Parliament Daniel Wanyama has faulted the move by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) proposing pay cuts for State and public servants.
Wanyama who was contributing to a debate on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State of the Nation address said the country’s economy is strong enough to sustain the current wage bill.
“The economy of this country is doing well and I want to differ with the issue of reducing salaries because that only happens to a failed State,” Wanyama said Wednesday.
“We should just continue to increase salaries because the economy is improving,” he added.
His sentiments come a day after National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale assured the current legislators that their salaries will remain untouched since the SCR draft report presented to President Kenyatta last week can only be debated by the next Parliament.
“You (MPs) should not panic about the SRC draft report because that report will be discussed in the next Parliament. Your allowances and salaries are secure until August 7 midnight when you terms come to an end,” Duale remarked on Tuesday when the National Assembly begun debate on the State of the Nation Address.
He however said the wage bill needed to be looked into to rescue the country from an economic crisis.
According to Duale, Parliament needs to convene a forum with a view of reviewing some of the provisions in the Constitution which he said further increased number of elected representatives most of which may not be useful to citizens.
“Let us deal with the matter of the wage bill,” he said. “Do we need a bicameral Parliament? It is morally wrong and ungodly that two percent of the population is consuming 50 percent of the taxpayers’ money. This debate must take us back to Bomas.”
Wanyama however applauded the Jubilee Administration for gains made in the education sector highlighting the scrapping of national examination registration fees as one of the major achievements of Kenyatta’s government.
“We applaud the President and the Jubilee Government for coming to the aid of Kenyans and ensuring even those from poor backgrounds can access education and are able to do their exams,” he said.
The wage bill debate has attracted mixed reactions since President Kenyatta’s State of the Nation Address on March 15, who challenged MPs to adopt the SRC report once tabled in parliament.
Kenyatta warned that the hefty salaries earned by parliamentarians contributed to frequent demands of pay hikes by other workers in the public sector, adding that such demands are no longer sustainable.
“As politicians we must accept that our ever increasing salaries and allowances have contributed to the unsustainable demands by other cadres within the public sector to increase their own remuneration at the expense of our people and the country’s development agenda,” said he.