NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15- A show down is looming between the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and Parliamentary Service Commission over the controversial payment of house allowance to the Members of Parliament.
The SRC now says the Sh250,000 monthly house allowance paid to the Members of Parliament is unconstitutional.
The Commission’s Chairperson Lynn Mengich said they will take legal action to recover the funds and ensure that no monies are paid to any State officer without their approval.
“The Parliamentary Service Commission does not have the mandate to review or set salaries and allowances to the State officers; that’s the mandate of the SRC,” Mengich said.
“The commission has taken steps to ascertain compliance to ensure that all payments that do not have SRC approval are stopped. The commission will take legal action to stop any payment that has not been set or advised by SRC and recover such payments.”
Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, Mengich added that there is no other State officer who enjoys a house allowance outside the gross payment apart from governors and deputy governors who are given a house benefit for official functions.
The Parliamentary Service Commission awarded MPs the monthly house allowance which has caused public uproar.
The taxpayer is set to spend an extra Sh104,000 every month which amounts to Sh1.2 annually should the house allowance be retained.
Each of the 415 MPs received Sh2.25 million over and above a monthly pay of Sh621,000 in April being the backdated amount for the contentious allowance.
The Speakers of both Houses earn a monthly gross of Sh1.2 million with their deputies taking home Sh924,000 every month.
House Leaders earn a gross monthly package of Sh 765,188.
MPs are already enjoying a mortgage package of Sh20mn and the monthly house allowance would translate to an over Sh100mn burden to the taxpayer.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi who is the chair of the Public Service Commission defended the payment saying it was justified arguing that other state officers are given house allowance.
“The notion that MPs are not concerned about Kenya’s wage bill is fallacious. Kenyans must not allow the Salaries and Renumeration Commission to be selective and discriminatory in its determination. A housing benefit is extended to all Public Servants &State Officers alike,” Muturi said.