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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.