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Legislators lose hefty allowances in fresh pay review by SRC

Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson Lyn Mengich. [David Njaaga, Standard]

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has dealt a blow to MPs and ward reps by scraping their sitting allowances.

In a fresh review of the salary structure for State officers for the Financial Year 2022-23, the commission also scraped the legislators’ car grants.

SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich, however, retained the committee sitting allowances for MPs. The changes mean that taxpayers could save close to Sh382.2 million annually in the next five years. This is nearly enough for the National Drought Emergency Fund.

In the changes, members of the National Assembly will take home a gross salary of Sh710,000 in a month up from Sh621,250.

The National Assembly holds four sittings a week while the Senate has three. According to Mengich, the 416 lawmakers who will be elected to serve in the 13th Parliament after the August 9 polls will not be entitled to plenary sitting allowances.

“Sitting allowances for plenary sessions in Parliament and county assemblies is abolished and cease to be payable. They are expected to discharge their duties in the plenary sittings and therefore they cannot be paid for doing their work,” said Mengich.

She added: “Transport facilitation benefit in the form of a car grant for MPS and MCAs is abolished and ceases to be payable. Any remuneration and benefits not gazetted is not payable, unless subsequently set by SRC.”

However, the commission retained committee sitting allowances. “A committee chairperson will be getting Sh15,000 sitting up to a maximum of Sh240,000 per month, vice chairperson Sh12,000 totaling Sh192,000 a month and members Sh7,500 per sitting totalling to Sh120,000 per month,” she said.

“Car maintenance allowance shall be paid to an MP at the rate of Sh356,525 per month. A claimable mileage of one return journey per week from the National Assembly (Nairobi) to his/her constituency office at the rate of Sh16.63 per kilometre, based on a car of engine capacity not exceeding 3000cc shall be reimbursed,” said Mengich.

However, the Speaker of the County Assembly, Deputy Speaker of the County Assembly, Member of the County Assembly and Member of County Executive Committee emerged as winners in the latest review.

Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. [File, Standard]

The monthly salary for the county Speaker has increased from Sh259,875 to Sh525,525 and that of the Member of the County Executive from Sh259,875 to Sh404,250.

The MPs are also entitled to a medical scheme of Sh10 million inpatient cover per family, Sh300,000 for outpatient cover, Sh150,000 for maternity, Sh100,000 for dental care and Sh100,000 for optical care. An MCA will be entitled to a basic salary of Sh86,000, a house allowance of Sh45,000, salary market adjustment allowance of Sh12,750 totalling Sh144,375.

The chairperson of a County Assembly committee will be entitled to Sh6,500 totalling Sh104,000 per month, the vice-chairperson Sh5,2,00 totalling Sh822,200 a month and members Sh3,900 per sitting totalling Sh62,400 per month. The Speaker of the County Assembly’s deputy will take home a gross monthly salary of Sh216,563.

The monthly salary for other State officers, including the President, his deputy, Cabinet Secretaries, Attorney-General, and the Head of Public Service will remain the same.

Other state officers whose salaries will not change include the Principal Secretary, Inspector General National Police, the Director General for National Intelligence Service, the Deputy Inspector General for Kenya Police Service, the Director Inspector General in charge of Administration Police service and the Director of Criminal Investigations.

The President will continue getting Sh1.443million, Deputy President Sh1. 227million. The review is part of the government’s bid to reduce the wage bill.