10 March 2014

Kenya: Public Officials Advised to Take Salary Cuts

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
Kenyan Public officials take salary cuts to ease the wage bill.

Nairobi — HEADS of government agencies and parastatals have been ordered to emulate President Uhuru Kenyatta and take salary cuts or risk losing their positions.

Kenyatta has given the notice during the launch of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission's “Rewarding Productivity” dialogue on the national wage bill.

“Failure to do so, there are Kenyans who are willing to take up these jobs,” said the President.

The President reiterated that the executive's move to take a pay cut was a valid one towards taming the burgeoning national wage bill.

He was however quick to add that must not be misconstrued to mean that the pay cut was being done to disempower officials adding the country's wage bill was now standing at 56 percent of the revenue, which was way above the best practice.

In the same forum, the Deputy President, William Ruto, stressed on the seriousness of the wage bill saying that the subject of discussion was a very difficult one.

He decried the rate at which the wage bill was increasing saying that the current rate of 13 percent of the country's gross domestic product could rise to up to 15.4 percent of GDP in the next two years.

The Deputy President said that the government had put in place measures to bring down the cost of living and therefore increasing the citizenry's buying power.

“We have laid plans on infrastructural development to make it easier for entrepreneurs and investors to do business in the country,” said Ruto.

He listed the plans that the government has in the pipeline in various sectors including agriculture and energy.

The leaders however conceded during the launch of the debate that the issue was sensitive one and would raise sentiments from the public sector.

“This is the beginning of a tough debate. We can no longer sweep it,” said Kenyatta.

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