Members of Parliament and senators are silently opposing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s proposals to have their salaries slashed by 30 percent, it has emerged.
Early this week, President Kenyatta proposed that MPs and other senior government officials take a pay cuts between 20 and 30 percent, in a bid to help in the fight against coronavirus (Covid-19).
However, according to the legislators, they have a lot of liabilities including loans, hence a pay cut would leave them ‘crippled’.
“Some of us take home only Ksh50,000 per month. If I was to accept a deduction, then my family will not eat. That is what it basically means,” said one ODM MP as quoted by the Star.
Instead of the deductions, the MPs want the Treasury retain five percent relief in their income tax.
“Some of us have commitments that may not allow us to take cuts. Let the Treasury retain the five percent relief in our income tax,” said Awendo MP Walter Owino.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo junior suggests that the Government should instead use the allowances and other benefits state officials enjoy and not their salaries.
“The only thing members can surrender is the allowances they collect from Parliament. We can free between Ksh2 billion and Ksh2.5 billion from travel, meetings, catering and conference allocations and channel it towards equipping hospitals and hiring of medical personnel,” Senator Kilonzo argued.
Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and his counterpart from the National Assembly, Justin Muturi have already accepted to take the pay cut.
“Please, don’t quote me but that is the truth. I, and not only me, most of us, we cannot go public on that. It will be detrimental. People will say we are insensitive,” said a Wiper MP.
The MPs seem to be tactfully buying time in the name of negotiations.