President Kibaki’s successor, MPs and judges are among senior public officials who will earn much less if the recommendations of the salaries team are adopted.
The salary, plus allowances, of the next president has been capped at a maximum Sh1,750,000 a month, down from the current Sh2 million. The new president’s minimum salary was put at Sh1,312,500.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission was, however, silent on other benefits enjoyed by the president, such as shopping for food, clothing and personal travel, which are currently sourced from public coffers.
This is in contrast to, say the American President, who reimburses the public for private dinners and lunches.
The deputy president will earn between Sh1,115,625 and Sh1,487,500, down from Sh1.9 million while MPs and senators will take home between Sh555,696 and Sh740,927, down from the current Sh851,000. The figures include all allowances paid to the affected state officers.
MPs, who have taken advantage of loopholes in the law creating the Parliamentary Service Commission, to raise their salaries and armtwist Finance ministers to effect the higher pay could be tamed if the proposals are adopted.
The recommendations did not state what will happen to the MPs’ Sh3.72 million send-off package and the Sh3 million they were given at the start of the term to buy a vehicle.
The commission is targeting the public sector whose wage bill alone accounts for over 43 per cent of the recurrent expenditure and 30 per cent of the national budget, leaving very little resources for development projects.
“The current wage bill is neither affordable nor sustainable. The country has far surpassed the fiscal and economic benchmarks such as fiscal sustainability,” said commission chairperson Sarah Serem while launching the proposed salary structure on Tuesday.
The proposals will, however, be subjected to public debate with the first hearing being held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, on Wednesday. Public hearings in other parts of the country will start next Monday, Mrs Serem announced.
Speaking at the function, Finance minister Njeru Githae said the government must take drastic measures to reduce the wage bill without compromising its ability to attract and retain quality staff in the public service.
In total, the commission has reviewed the salaries of 3,670 state officers whose total wage bill currently stands at Sh14.7 billion annually.
The commission hopes to reduce this figure to Sh13 billion if its proposals are adopted.
Mrs Serem said that the commission would also review the salaries of other public servants employed by State corporations, judicial and parliamentary staff, teachers, members of the disciplined forces and local authorities, all of who constitute 97 per cent of the public wage bill.
The commission is recommending that the Speaker of the National Assembly earns between Sh1 million and Sh1.4 million. It also recommends that the Chief Justice and the Speaker of the Senate earn between Sh1 million and Sh1.3 million each. The CJ and the National Assembly Speaker currently earn Sh1.3 million each.
It proposes that governors who will be elected on March 4 earn between Sh833,755 and Sh1.1 million while their deputies take home between Sh546,623 and Sh728,831.
Other super earners who will be forced to take pay cuts if the SRC proposals are adopted include Cabinet Secretaries and the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces whose salaries are pegged at between Sh840,000 and Sh1.1 million as opposed to their current monthly pay of Sh1.2 million.
It also proposes that the salaries of the Attorney-General, Auditor-General and judges of the Supreme Court be reduced from the current Sh1.2 million to between Sh8211,264 and Sh1 million.
It proposes that the chairpersons of the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution earn between Sh811,896 and Sh1 million while the Secretary to the Cabinet and the Vice-Chief of Kenya Defence Forces earn between Sh695,625 and Sh927,500.
Currently, the Secretary to the Cabinet, commanders of the Kenya Army, Kenya Air Force, Kenya Navy, the Director of Public Prosecutions and Court of Appeal judges earn Sh950,000.
The SRC is proposing that the Kenya Army commander, the Inspector General of Police and Court of Appeal judges earn between Sh692,253 and Sh920,338.
Chairpersons of the Public Service Commission, Teachers Service Commission, Transition Authority, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on Revenue Allocation will each earn between Sh562,500 and Sh750,000 if the proposals are upheld.
Others in that wage bracket will be deputy inspectors general of the Kenya Police Service and Administration Police Service.
The commission recommends that the chairpersons of the SRC, National Land Commission, National Police Service and the Commission on Gender and Equality earn between Sh555,696 and Sh740,927.
Mrs Serem recommended that the government considers freezing employment in non-critical sectors, harmonising allowances, eliminating ghost workers, encouraging officers to take sabbatical leaves and outsourcing non-core activities in order to reduce the high wage bill in the public service.
Mr Githae also called for greater efficiency in education and health and suggested that the government encourages private sector involvement in the two areas that account for the biggest proportion of the wage bill.