The wage bill debate

   Reducing the public wage bill as the government puts it basically is about reducing the total amount of money the government pays to its employees.
   This is a proper initiative since as a country we need to develop and become a middle income economy. With the rate of increase of the wage bill being higher than the country’s economic growth, a need arises to cut down the cost. This is basically a comparison with the past regime.
   The move by the president, his deputy and parastatal chiefs  to take a 20% pay cut is proper keeping in mind that they all take home a 7 figure salary every end month. However, imposing the same on all civil servants would be dictatorial and insensitive.
   Decentralized power is the way to go. Devolution meant more employees meaning more salaries which equates to an explosion of the wage bill.
   In 2010, I knew a monster was in the offing through the creation of more constituencies, devolved governments and the ilk.
   How was the country going to sustain these employees? Being an mp in Kenya means demanding for more allowances in the event you can’t increase your salary.
  With an average pay of about 600,000 mps currently consume almost 210 million compared to an estimated figure of 168 million shillings monthly in the past regime.
Adding to their allowances per day which amounts to 20,000 per person together amounts to 6million per day. Given that they have 3 sittings in a week and 12 in a month, that is 72 million in a month on allowances only assuming the 300 of them attend all parliamentary sessions.
  Senators who didn’t exist previously take home an estimated amount of 30 million shillings with governors around 48 million monthly.
  In every fiscal year, there is an addition of 1.4 billion shillings all thanks to devolution. Adding corruption to this mostly contributed to by mainly procurement laws which are non functional the wage bill will no doubt skyrocket.
   Currently, 54% of the government budget is spent on recurrent expenditures i.e paying of salaries to public employees who, to add salt to injury are the poorest in service delivery. As the president and his deputy continue saying, something needs to be done.


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