Inside Politics

Your vote, their pay: MPs to earn more after election

Friday, July 29th, 2022 02:30 | By
The National Assembly in session. Members of the 13th Parliament will enjoy improved perks. PD/file
The National Assembly in session. Members of the 13th Parliament will enjoy improved perks. PD/file

The next president and his deputy will earn higher salaries under a new scheme announced by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

Governors, Members of the National Assembly, Senators, Members of County Assemblies, Speakers of all Houses as well as Majority and Minority Leaders are all also set to enjoy higher remuneration, meaning financial rewards await those who will win next month’s election.

The revelation is likely to heighten competition for the six elective seats, which have attracted over 4,600 candidates.

Despite the general increases in salaries and perks — including medical cover, car loans and mortgages — MPs and MCAs will have to forego plenary sitting allowances, which have been abolished through an arrangement under which the government intends to save at least Sh382.2 million.

Currently, every MP has a sitting allowance of Sh5,000 per session. Parliament has 349 MPs and 67 senators.

In the next Parliament, each of the 416 members will get a motor vehicle reimbursement of Sh7.5 million for the purchase of a car with an engine capacity not exceeding 3000cc. Each member will enjoy a car maintenance allowance.

They will also be reimbursed a claimable mileage of one return journey per week at the rate of Sh116.63 per kilometre, based on a car of engine capacity not exceeding 3000cc.

Car loan

Members of the 13th Parliament will also have massive increases in allowances, which will include the newly introduced house allowance of Sh150,000 per month. They will also be entitled to a mortgage not exceeding Sh35 million up from the current Sh20 million and a car loan of Sh8 million.

SRC announced the new Salary Market Adjustment in which the State officers' salaries were modified. The increases took into account market positioning, and constitutional and statutory principles on review of remuneration and benefits.

The changes will take effect in the 2022/2023 financial year and will affect basic salary, house allowance, commuter allowance and Salary Market Adjustment (SMA). The changes are published in a Kenya Gazette Notice of July 27, 2022. “All State officers in the Executive will enjoy salary market adjustment,” said commission chairperson Lyn Mengich.

Following the changes, the next president will receive Sh227,500 in SMA, which will raise his gross salary to Sh1,443,750. The deputy will receive Sh190,875 in SMA, raising his or her monthly pay to Sh1,227,188.

Cabinet Secretaries will be paid Sh169,600 in SMA, raising their gross salary to Sh924,000. The same will apply to the Attorney-General and Secretary to the Cabinet/Head of Public Service.

Basic salary

Every Principal Secretary will be paid a gross salary of Sh765,188, the same as the Inspector-General of the National Police Service and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service.

The Deputy Inspector General Kenya Police Service will earn Sh621,250 per month, the same as his counterparts in charge of the Administration Police Service, the Kenya Police and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

But not only officers in the national government will benefit. The changes will also benefit their counterparts in the counties. Among the top beneficiaries are the Speakers of the County Assemblies, who will earn a basic salary of Sh315,315 and a house allowance of Sh80,000. They will also get commuter allowances and a SMA review of Sh130,210. This will raise their gross pay to Sh525,525.

MCAs will get a SMA review of Sh12,750, a house allowance of Sh45,000 and gross pay of Sh144,375. They will also enjoy a host of other benefits, including a medical cover.

State officers in the Executive of the national government will be eligible for a car loan and mortgage as follows: Cabinet Secretaries, Attorney-General and Secretary to the Cabinet will get up to Sh10 million for a car loan and up to Sh40 million for a mortgage.

Principal Secretaries will be eligible for Sh8 million for a car loan and Sh35 million for a mortgage.

Others to benefit are the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service and Inspector-General of the National Police Service who will get Sh6 million for car loans and Sh30 million for mortgages.

The commission noted that the applicable rate of interest will be three per cent per annum on a reducing balance, for the duration of the loan.  This is among the best interest rates in Kenya, where the average stands at about 12 per cent but ranges from nine to 14 per cent.

“The car loan shall be recoverable within the contract term of a State officer,” SRC said in its notice in the Kenya Gazette.

Fixed pay

That means, for elected leaders, they have to repay the loans within five years.

SRC says a serving State officer and a State officer appointed on or after the effective date of the Gazette Notice shall enjoy the new monthly pay announced yesterday.

That means that politicians who get elected on August 9 will start enjoying the perks.

Mengich said the remuneration in the notice is fixed for the term of office of the State officer unless reviewed and set by the commission.

This is important because, in the past, MPs and other elected leaders raised their pay and perks without regard to recommendations made by the salaries team. The clarification means that if legislators seek to raise their pay, they can be stopped through legal instruments unlike in the past.

“For purposes of gratuity and pension, the pensionable emolument shall be based on the monthly basic salary set herein. (e) The basic salary set herein is 60 per cent of the gross salary set herein,” says the gazette notice.

The commission explained that the new pay structure is in line with the judgment of the Environment and Labour Review Court on benefits for State officers in the Executive of the National government.

Medical cover

On the issue of official transport, the Presidency will be provided with official transport in line with prevailing government policy.

Other State officers in the Executive will be provided with an official car with an engine capacity not exceeding 3000cc.

On medical benefits, a State officer, one spouse and up to four children below the age of 25 and who are fully dependent on the State officer will enjoy an annual medical cover.

The cover will see the inpatient limit set at Sh10 million, outpatient at Sh300,000, maternity at Sh150,000, dental at Sh75,000 and Optical at Sh75,000.

The commission retained the existing Retirement Benefits for the President under the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act, 2003.

In the case of the deputy president, the retirement benefits for the deputy president and the designated State officers Act, 2015, will apply.

However, there will be two types of retirement benefits for State officers; pension and gratuity.

The benefits for a State officer serving or appointed on permanent and pensionable terms shall be eligible for a pension benefit in line with existing laws.

A State officer serving or appointed for a fixed term shall be paid a service gratuity at the rate of 31 per cent of the annual pensionable emoluments for the term served.

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