NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto have volunteered to take a 80 per cent pay cut as government works to cushion the country against an economic meltdown triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The two are among dozens of senior State officials who will be taking a pay cut with Cabinet Secretaries set to have 30 per cent of their pay slashed to ease the strain of public wagebill on the economy.
Speakers of the bicameral parliament Thursday announced they will also take a 30 per cent pay cut following President Kenyatta’s announcement on Wednesday.
Addressing the nation on Wednesday, the President announced Chief Administrative Secretaries will also take a 30 per cent pay cut with Principal Secretaries set to take a 20 per cent cut.
“I call on the other arms of Government and tiers of Government to join us in this national endeavor, by making similar voluntary reductions, which will free-up monies to combat this pandemic,” the President said.
The President further directed that all State and Public Officers with pre-existing medical conditions or aged 58 years and above, serving in Job Group S and below or their equivalents, to take leave or forthwith work from home.
Those working in the security sector or providing essential services to the country are exempted from the directive.
To cushion Kenyans from an economic turmoil occasioned by the current health crisis, the President directed the National Treasury to seek Parliament’s approval for a 100 percent tax relief for people earning a gross monthly income of up to Sh24,000.
Also, in the raft of measures include reduction of Income Tax Rate (Pay as You Earn) from 30 per cent to 25 per cent and the reduction of Resident Income Tax (Corporation Tax) from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.
The President reported an increase in the number of coronavirus cases to 28 after three more people tested positive.
He urged Kenyans to continue observing the laid out precautionary measures which include washing hands using water and soap, use of sanitizers and social distancing.
“Social distancing is now our new norm, it is our new way of life,” the President pointed out.
“We reiterate that the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus is through basic changes in individual behaviour and hygiene. We have recently experienced cases within our country where transmission was from our political and religious leaders who unfortunately did not heed the guidance by the Ministry of Health on self-quarantine and social distancing.”
The disease has claimed more than 19,000 lives across the world.