SRC: Why We Abolished MPs' Ksh8.2 Billion Allowances

  • How canceled special sitting could cost Kenyans
    Members of Parliament during a session in the 12th Parliament.
  • The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson, Lyn Mengich, has affirmed that its decision to scrap the Ksh8.7 billion sitting allowances for Members of Parliament was based on the principles of equity and fairness according to the Kenyan constitution. 

    Speaking to Citizen TV on Saturday, August 27, Mengich noted that the principle of equity dictated that those at the same level ought to earn the same pay.

    She highlighted that the inclusion of the sitting allowances would amount to a remuneration equal to that of a Cabinet Secretary or a governor. 

    Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairperson Lyn Mengich
    Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairperson Lyn Mengich

    Mengich explained that several factors had to be considered to ensure that the Legislators assuming office after the August 9 polls were getting a salary equal to the work they delivered. 

    "We looked at the pay of the state officers from two main perspectives; equity and fairness. So, we carried out job evaluation, determined the relative job worth by looking at the grading of the job and carried out salary market surveys and state officers.

    "This was based on the international benchmarks to arrive at the pay for the president which we then cascaded down to other roles. So, the current grading for the role of an MP was upgraded to F1. It is equivalent to the grading of a PS, or the chair of a commission," Mengich explained.

    "The principle of equity dictates that those at the same level should earn the same pay. So the pay for F1 is Ksh765,000. For MP it's actually above that. From the Gazette Notice, the pay was Ksh710,000 before we add the allowances for committee sittings which adds up to a maximum of Ksh120,000, translating to Ksh830,000." 

    She noted that the entire amount contravened the Public Finance Management Act which stipulated that the Commission should not be spending more than 35 per cent of revenue on wage bills to ensure there is sufficient disbursement of resources for service delivery and development 

    "The plenary sittings took the MPs' remuneration to either Ksh910,000/Ksh920,000 per month. This means that you would be remunerating an MP equal to a CS, governor. So the principle of equity dictated we remove the plenary sittings to ensure the pay is at the same level," she highlighted. 

    Mengich added that the total amount that the Commission would have paid the Legislators would have amounted to Ksh8.2 billion for five years. 

    "The annual saving is Ksh450 million, which translates to Ksh2.2 billion for the five years. The same plenary sitting is also abolished and translates to Ksh1.2 billion annually hence around Ksh6 billion. In total, we look at Ksh8.2 billion for both national and county governments. Hence, abolishing sitting allowances would save the taxpayer 8.2 billion for a 5-year period." 

    The news comes even as incoming MPs threatened to table a motion to disband the SRC for scrapping off the allowances. 

    Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) commissioners
    Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) commissioners