Prime Minister Raila Odinga has promised that he will take a 50 per cent pay cut if he is elected president in the March 4 elections. During an interview on the BBC World Service's News Hour programme on Thursday, Raila said he is against hefty salaries and allowances to senior government officials.
He said it was wrong for MPs to earn huge pay. "I have been against MPs increasing their salaries and over rewarding themselves," said the Prime Minister. "I believe putting the pay check too high (for the MPs) has the effect of triggering demands from other sectors of society."
Raila, who is running for Presidency on the Cord ticket, said although he has not worked out the exact figure he wants to be paid if he is elected the President, he is ready to have the pay reduced by 50 per cent.
When asked the practical measures he is ready to take to ensure other sectors of society do not demand high perks, Raila said: "I will begin by reducing my own pay as a President to give an example to the rest."
Pushed further to explain the exact pay cut he was willing to take, Raila said, "I have not yet agreed on the figure, but up to a half the amount."
The PM said he has also been pushing for payment of taxes by all state officers. President Kibaki earns Sh2 million a month as basic salary and about Sh1.2 million in benefits bringing the total to Sh3.1 million. This means that if Raila becomes President and lives up to his promise, his basic pay will be reduced to Sh1 million per month.