Kenya: Pay Boom for Civil Servants, Teachers in Sh3.3 Trillion Budget

(file photo).
16 November 2021

Teachers and civil servants are among the biggest winners in President Kenyatta's last budget of Sh3.31 trillion as he leaves office next year.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will receive an extra Sh15 billion for the 2022/23 financial year, with sources saying the additional money is for a pay rise and hiring of new teachers.

Civil servants will also get a salary increment as the National Treasury has allocated an extra Sh70.8 billion to ministries for recurrent expenditure, including the annual pay rise.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has allocated an additional Sh14.9 billion to the TSC, whose budget has risen to Sh296.6 billion from Sh281.7 billion this year.

A member of the National Assembly Education Committee told the Nation yesterday that, the additional funding "is to appease teachers who are unhappy and that the government would want to do something about it on an election year."

This year, TSC, citing hard economic times, offered unions a non-monetary 2021-2025 collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which teachers have protested.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), which announced a two-year freeze on civil servants' pay rise in July, yesterday explained that, the extra money factored in the ministries' budgets is for the annual salary increments.

General Election

"Every year, civil servants get a pay rise to cater for several factors including the cost of living and this amount is easy to determine each year. However, this is different from the salary increase through CBAs that has been frozen for two years until the economy recovers," SRC Head of Corporate Communications Anthony Mwangi told the Nation.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will get an additional Sh7.33 billion to conduct next year's General Election.

IEBC's funding is set to rise from Sh14.35 billion to Sh21.68 billion for expenses like printing ballot papers, remuneration of poll officials, among others.

The education sector has maintained its lead as the largest spender with an additional allocation of Sh21.97 billion for key programmes on implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

Among the expenses is Sh8 billion for building new classrooms.

The draft 2022 Budget Policy Statement (BPS) states that, the Education ministry's allocation for the 2022/23 financial year is set to increase to Sh525.9 billion from Sh503.97 billion.

Mr Yatani has allocated ministries Sh1.344 trillion for recurrent spending for the 2022/23 financial year, up from Sh1.273 trillion.

Ministries are also set to receive additional funds for development spending as the BPS proposes to increase capital allocations to Sh730.59 billion, up from Sh668.37 billion.

The budget is, however, subject to parliamentary approval.

National Security will get the lion's share of the additional revenue allocation in the new financial year.

Treasury has raised national government spending by Sh133 billion from Sh1.942 trillion in the current financial year to Sh2.075 trillion in the next.

A third of the extra funding --Sh40.89 billion -- is earmarked for the Ministry of Defence and the National Intelligence Service (NIS). The higher allocation to the two is on the back of next year's General Election and the unfolding security crisis in the region.

The Defence budget has increased to Sh157.56 billion, up from Sh119.75 billion this year even as the President continues to place key government entities under the military, including the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC).

The NIS budget is set to increase to Sh45.52 billion, up from Sh42.45 billion.

Another big winner is infrastructure, energy and ICT docket that will get an additional Sh32.5 billion.

Its budget has risen from Sh335.8 billion to Sh368.3 billion, with the State Department of Infrastructure securing an allocation of Sh211.4 billion up from Sh195.2 billion.

Transport will receive Sh10.79 billion, up from Sh10.77 billion, while energy will get Sh85.14 billion from Sh73.88 billion.

President Kenyatta's Big Four projects have been allocated additional funds, meaning the President wants his legacy development projects continued by the next administration.

The allocation for affordable housing has increased from Sh15.28 billion to Sh20.04 billion in the new budget towards construction of over 40,000 low-cost housing units.

"The sector will also construct 38,489 social and affordable houses, 1,550 police and prison houses and 3,150 government housing units in order to provide the citizens with decent housing," states the BPS.

Health has also been allocated an additional Sh5.26 billion for implementation of numerous programmes under the Universal Health Coverage. The budget has increased to Sh126.35 billion, up from Sh121.09 billion.

Economic stimuli

However, losers in the new budget include food security, which is part of the Big Four legacy projects. The agriculture docket's budget has been slashed by Sh11.63 billion.

Mr Yatani has allocated Sh63.89 billion to Lands and State departments of fisheries, cooperatives and crop development, down from Sh75.72 billion they got in financial year 2021/22.

The BPS also factors a raft of economic stimuli programmes President Kenyatta announced during Mashujaa Day celebrations, including Sh1 billion fertiliser subsidy for tea farmers, Sh10 billion for Kazi mtaani , Sh1.5 billion for the sugar industry and Sh1 billion for coffee farmers.

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