17 February 2017

Kenya: Uhuru, Ruto Set to Get 10% Salary Rise

Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

President Uhuru Kenyatta's salary and that of his deputy William Ruto will increase by 10 per cent in the year starting July amid the government's push to reduce the ballooning public wage bill.

Treasury documents show that the combined annual pay of the President and Mr Ruto will increase to Sh40.2 million in the 2017/18 year from the current Sh36.6 million.

But their allowances remain unchanged at Sh14.6 million.

The two got a 9.1 per cent pay rise last year despite their announcement in 2014 that they had taken a 20 per cent pay cut to contain the bloated wage bill.

The pay increase will only apply if the two are re-elected in the August polls.

Should they fail to be re-elected, the new office bearer will start on a lower pay set by the salaries commission.

The combined starting basic salary of the president and his deputy is estimated at Sh2.7 million.

The pay rise comes as the Treasury struggles to implement an austerity plan to free up cash for development and essential services such as security, health and education.

President Kenyatta is entitled to a salary range of between Sh1.23 million and Sh1.65 million monthly, meaning his maximum annual pay is Sh19.8 million, according to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

Mr Ruto is entitled to a monthly pay of between Sh1.05 million and Sh1.4 million, putting his annual pay at Sh16.8 million.

The Treasury had last year frozen the President's pay rise and that of his deputy for two years to 2018 as part of the austerity measures.

It's not clear what prompted the u-turn.

Kenya has been running a large public wage bill, which stood at Sh568 billion in the 12 months to June, 2015 or 52 per cent of total revenues, squeezing development spending that is the driver of economic growth.

At 52 per cent, Kenya's public wage bill is 17 per cent above the global average of 35 per cent for middle-income countries.

Last week, State House announced a fresh pay package that will see civil servants' salaries increased.

The wage bill will increase from Sh568 billion at the start of the current financial year to Sh658 billion.

This comes in a year when the country's economic growth rate is expected to be slow as investors take a wait-and-see attitude before the August polls, says the International Monetary Fund.


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