Kieni MP Kanini Kega has criticised the salaries commission for reducing lawmakers’ pay and urged the government to give them vehicles to compensate for the loss of mileage allowances.
Mr Kega said the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) could have provided government vehicles to lawmakers as an alternative as it does to other State officers.
“Other State officers, like Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries, parastatal bosses and others, have GK vehicles with personal drivers. MPs’ transport should also be catered for by giving them vehicles to ease their movement,” said Mr Kega.
The MP, who is seeking to serve a second term on a Jubilee Party ticket, also decried that car grants for elected leaders have also been scrapped.
“The move will reduce the wage bill and we welcome it, but they forgot to offer transport alternatives. The zoning capped by levels of kilometres will do good and save more money,” said the MP.
He noted that lawmakers from remote areas were siphoning public funds through the millage allowance demands, saying some were demanding more than Sh2 million on top of their monthly salaries.
The MP said the directive should be respected and supported, adding that it is aimed at reducing the burden on taxpayers.
He cautioned the incoming 12th Parliament not to amend the SRC proposal on salaries, saying some aspirants are seeking elective seats because they expect high incomes.
“Some positions have attracted 30 candidates because of the salaries, allowances and other good things that accompany the seats and not because they want to serve the people.
“There is an upsurge of political aspirants and by 2022 … few people will be vying [for seats] driven by the people’s interest,” he observed.
COUNTY GOVERNMENTS BLAMED
He further lashed out at county governments over the slow absorption rate of development funds, saying the incoming county bosses ought to reduce squabbles with members of county assemblies.
Under the reviewed salary structure, the government is expected to save more than Sh8 billion annually on the funds slashed from State officers.
Currently, the annual wage bill stands at Sh627 billion and takes close to 50 per cent of government revenue.