MPs plot to kick out SRC for scrapping sitting allowances

Economy

MPs plot to kick out SRC for scrapping sitting allowances


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Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Chairperson Lyn Mengich. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Newly elected MPs plan to initiate the process of disbanding the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) following its decision to scrap sitting allowances in plenary sessions.

The MPs accused the SRC of overstepping its mandate and asked their employer, the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), to challenge the decision by moving to court.

The SRC in a gazette notice issued last month scrapped sitting allowances in what it said will save taxpayers over one billion shillings yearly.

However, the SRC retained committee sitting allowances and increased MPs’ basic pay by Sh134,000 to Sh710,000 in a bid to appease the lawmakers.

MPs earn about Sh5,000 for every sitting and the abolishment of the allowances for plenary sessions in the National Assembly and Senate is meant to ease the pressure on the public sector wage bill which is currently at Sh930.5 billion annually.

The scraping of the plenary sitting allowances will take effect when the newly elected MPs are sworn-in before September 9.

Lawmakers have in the past successfully challenged similar decisions by the salaries team and managed to reinstate perks earned by the previous House.

“We will not sit and watch the SRC take away what we enjoyed in the last Parliament. We will ask the Parliamentary Service Commission to challenge the gazette notice failing which we will embark on a process to disband the SRC,” Tim Wanyonyi, the third-term MP for Westlands, said at the start of a two-day orientation for newly elected lawmakers.

The SRC is a constitutional body that can only be scrapped through an amendment of the Constitution.

This will require Parliament to raise a two-thirds majority, 233 of the 349 MPs to disband the commission.

MPs have in the past clashed with the SRC for slashing huge benefits that they enjoyed before the enactment of the Constitution in 2010.

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