Two Senators have supported the reduction of salaries for politicians to reduce the country’s swollen wage Bill.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior and nominated Senator Beth Mugo said the suggestion by President Uhuru Kenyatta to reduce the salaries and allowances of Members of Parliament was right.
“The President should take the matter to Parliament for deliberation and once it is past and becomes law, it will rectify the situation,” said Mr Kilonzo.
He added, “reducing the salaries of MPs is okay but it’s not the only way. What we should ask ourselves is, do we need some of these offices?"
They were speaking on the sideline of the second second annual summit for senators and members of county assemblies currently underway at Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort in Mombasa.
Ms Mugo also wants offices that are not anchored in the constitution abolished in a bid to further reduce the government’s recurring expenses.
She said that the number of constituencies and the civil service should be reduced and in effect reduce Members of Assembly and thus the wage Bill.
“If constituencies are reduce, the other offices attached to them will also reduce. The general civil service is also bloated so, it too should be reduced,” she said.
Mr Kilonzo opposed the scrapping off of the Senate saying it played a major oversight role and as the devolution guardian.
“Scrapping off the Senate is to remove devolution and return the country back 50 years. No one ill accept that,” said Mr Kilonzo.
He argued that the Senate has created a political middle ground here all 47 counties compete on equal terms.
“Nairobi, Mombasa, Mandera, Lamu and all the other counties have a single vote each at the Senate. This is the only structure in the country that creates middle ground,” he said.
Mr Kilonzo said the bloated workforce both in the national and county governments contributed to the huge wage Bill.
But he blamed the national government for the same arguing that upon the inception of devolution in 2013, many civil servants were seconded to the counties.
“While the counties employed their staff, they received many more from the national government. This as the problem. Today, counties spend upto 85 per cent of their money on recurrent expenditures leaving only 15 per cent for development,” he said.
This scenario had led to counties overtaxing business people to get the extra needed revenue.
“But this has the bad effects of chasing away investors. It therefore goes against the spirit of devolution which was to create friendly, enabling environment for investment,” he said