Kenya on Monday announced a drastic salary cut for all cadres of state employees in a bid to tame a ballooning wage bill that was to blame for the sluggish economic growth.
Sarah Serem, Chairperson of Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), said the pay cut for state officials would be accompanied by abolition of mileage and sitting allowances to cushion the Kenyan tax payers from inflationary pressures.
“The revised monthly salary for state employees factors critical issues like cost of living and the state of our economy.
“It promotes the constitutional spirit of competitive remuneration and will enhance productivity among state officers,” Ms. Serem said in Nairobi.
Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will be affected by the proposed salary cut that will be implemented from September 2017 to 2022.
According to the revised salary structure, Kenyatta will earn 10,400 dollars per month, down from 10,600 dollars, while his deputy will be earning 10,200 dollars, down from 10,400 dollars.
The pay cut will also affect cabinet secretaries, senior civil servants like lawmakers, county executives and ward representatives whose hefty perks had reportedly exerted huge pressure on public finances.
Ms. Serem revealed that cabinet secretaries, who were mostly hired from the private sector will take home a monthly pay of $9,025 down from $10,500 while lawmakers will earn $6,020, down from $7,010.
The salaries boss announced that mileage and sitting allowances for senior officials and lawmakers would be scrapped in a bid to slash the public wage bill by 35 per cent and save the Kenyan exchequer $800 million annually.
She added that Kenya had borrowed global best practices in its bid to tame the skyrocketing wage bill that has undermined economic growth and investments in poverty alleviation projects.
“We should strive towards being a producing country as opposed to being a consuming one,” Ms. Serem remarked.
She added that the government would critically examine the competence of civil servants before awarding them a salary hike.