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Kenyan government halts hiring to trim wage bill

by: Category: Agriculture, Banking & Finance, East Africa, Energy, Featured, In Focus A+ / A-
The treasury has put breaks on employment of public servants with approval of recommendations by Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) on proposed salary cuts to holders of state jobs in an effort to tame Kenya’s ballooning public wage bill.
 
Rotich’s budget has set aside Sh 20 billion for the implementation of the first phase of the new review  cycle  of  SRC  amounting  to  about  Sh84 billion and has halted new recruitment to the public except  for  limited technical staff, security personnel, teachers and health workers.
 
The proposed plan also targets civil servants with permanent and pensionable terms, whose allowances will be harmonized and revised downwards with the plan expected to take effect September, although the move is expected to receive lukewarm reception from legislative arm of the government.
 
In his State of the Nation’s address President Uhuru Kenyatta, had called for the trimming of the public sector wage bill with support to the recommendations of the SRC, which seek to reduce the salaries and allowances of state officers.
 
“We urge all stakeholders to support the work of SRC and ensure full implementation of the recommendations.
 
Beginning July 2017, salaries and allowances of all public servants will be harmonized  as  per  the guidelines provided by  the  SRC following  the  job  evaluation  exercise which resulted  in  an  upward  review  of  salaries for teachers  and  doctors and  other  public officers,” said Rotich.
 
Currently, more than 3,000 state officers drawn from the Judiciary, legislature and the Executive, commissions and independent offices like the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) take home over Sh14billion of the Sh627 billion recurrent expenditure in salaries and allowances.
 
The country’s wage bill is today estimated at Sh627 billion per year, representing 50 per cent of the total revenues collected by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). The amount is used to pay salaries and allowances of over 700,000 public officers including members of parliament and senators – widening from $2.3bn in 2008/2009 to $5.3bn in the financial year 2012/2013.
 
The move is aimed at releasing the funds for priority social sectors and critical infrastructure.

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Business Journalist since 2009, has worked for Financial Post, Standard Media Group, Business Journal and People Daily.

Chief Editor at The African Business Fortune Magazine.

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