SRC scraps plenary allowances but enhances MPs, MCAs salaries

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has abolished the plenary sittings allowance for Members of Parliament and Members of County Assemblies. In a Gazette notice dated August 9, the SRC has however enhanced their gross salaries to Sh710,000 from Sh621,250 for MPs and Sh144,375 from Sh123,750 for MCAs.

Currently, MPs earn a plenary sitting allowance of Sh5,000 per session meaning that if one attends Parliament for all sessions in a month, they earn Sh80,000 above the Sh621,250 gross salary. There are 4 sessions per week in Parliament – one on Tuesday, two on Wednesday and one on Thursday. However, MPs are sometimes called for special sittings which raises their allowances.

SRC has said that it hopes to save close to Sh1.5 billion in the abolished allowances.

“In the third remuneration cycle, we asked if the landscape is still the same or if there have been some changes. Out of the information given, we noticed that there were some changes. After job evaluation, we decided to consolidate the salaries and it is based on basic, house, commuter, and salary market adjustment,” SRC chair Lyn Mengich explained the new salary guidelines that will take effect for the financial year 2022/2023.

She added; “We resolved that the MPs, Speakers, and CECs salaries be upgraded, while the plenary sitting allowance in the parliament and county assemblies be abolished.”

The new MPs will still enjoy the committee sitting allowance at Sh7,500 per sitting up to a maximum of Sh120,000 per month.

They will also get a Motor Vehicle Reimbursement of Sh7,550,000 for purchase of a car of engine capacity not exceeding 3000cc to undertake official duties. In addition, MPs will get Sh356,525 car maintenance allowance per month just as it is the case today.

MCAs will be provided a Motor Vehicle Reimbursement of Sh2,212,000 for the purchase of a car of engine capacity not exceeding 1800cc, for official duties. In addition, MPs will get Sh30,167 car maintenance allowance per month just like now.

Kenyan parliament is a member of the commonwealth parliament and the inter-parliamentary union where they earn the sitting allowances. Presently, the MPs are paid Sh5,000 per plenary session. This opens a new battlefront between MPs and SRC as was the case in 2017. when the commission set salaries and allowances for lawmakers which were challenged in court and squashed.

Committee allowances were allowed to continue due to research and the plenary sitting allowances were included in their pay. But the MPs went to court to challenge the matter.

MPs are earning Sh620,000 after tax minus the perks, which include mileage, plenary sittings, and committee sittings allowances among others. In the 13th parliament, the MPs elected in the August 9 election will earn Sh710,000.

“We have removed the plenary sitting allowance which is inclusive of the Sh710,000. In 2013, they had a lot of allowances with Sh200,000 being like the retainer. When SRC came around to talk it was for everyone to be on a salary just like everyone and taxable at that,” SRC Commissioner John Manyoncho said.

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