MPs Face Huge Salary Cut in the Next Parliament
Salaries of Members of Parliament in the next Parliament could be slashed in half if a radical proposal by the Commission on Revenue Allocation is implemented. CRA chairman Micah Cheserem yesterday warned those who hope to be MPs after the next general elections that the era of generous remuneration may be over.
According to the new constitution, the number of MPs is to be increased from the current 222 to 349 while the Senate to be established after the forthcoming general election will have 67 Senators and their Speaker. Already, a report seeking to create 80 new constituencies is before Parliament. Cheserem said the total wage bill for legislators needed to be frozen, and this would only be possible if salaries of MPs were reduced.
Cheserem said Kenya, a third world country of 40 million people, would have almost the same number of representatives as the United States, a developed country of 311 million people, â€œThere is a risk of a huge wage bill,â€ Cheseremsaid during the Economic Symposium of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya in Nairobi yesterday. â€œHopefully, salaries of MPs will be reduced by halfby the Salaries and Revenues Commission. So if you are going to Parliament toearn a salary of Sh1million, you are in for a rude shock,â€ added Cheserem.
The Treasury announced that it wants to cap the public wage bill at acertain percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. Senior Economic Advisor to Treasury, Kamau Thugge, said thePublic Finances Management Bill, 2012 has already been endorsed by the Cabinetand will now go to the Attorney-Generalâ€™s office before being introduced to Parliament.
The Bill was among the laws supposed to beenacted within the first 18 months after the promulgation of the new constitution. â€œWe hope it will be published tomorrow (today)which raises the question on how Parliament will discuss it between then and Monday which is the constitutional deadline,â€ said Thugge. In addition to MPs and senators, each of the 47 counties will have its own Governor, Deputy Governor, County Assembly with a Speaker and members elected from the ward level.
Currently, each MP earns Sh 200,000 as basic salaryand a bulk of allowances bringing the total to Sh851,000 per month. The current Parliament in 2010 adopted a report prepared by the Akiwumi tribunal that proposed to increase their salaries and allowances from thecurrent Sh851, 000 to Sh1.1 million per month. A public outcry and economic recession compelled MPs to shelve the increment until after the 2012 general elections.
The bicameral House comprising of additional MPs and Senators will require up to Sh29 billion in the next three years for salaries andallowances alone. Parliamentary budget estimates indicated that Sh6.5 billion is needed to pay MPs and parliamentary staff during the 2011/2012 financial year â€”with this allocation nearly doubling to Sh11.8 billion after the 2012 generalelection.
Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni yesterday told the Star that he is still planning to introduce a Bill seeking toabolish the Senate. He said the role of Senate can easily be performed by MPsand save tax payers huge amounts of money. According to Garsen MP Danson Mungatana, the solution lies in reducing the salaries of MPs as a way of managing the wage bill. He has proposed that the salaries of MPs in the next Parliament be reduced to Sh300,000 permonth to run the Senate as well. Former Information minister Mutahi Kagwe has also proposed that the salaries for MPs in the next Parliament be reduced to cater for Senators and Governors.
Source: The Star