President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday delivered his fourth and last State of the Nation Address at the Parliament buildings before the August Elections.
In his speech, the Head of State addressed a number of issues among them the issue of the wage bill that has been of concern for both civil servants, the government and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
According to the President’s speech, the current public wage bill stands at 627 billion shillings in a year, which amounts to 50 percent of the total revenues collected by the Kenya Revenue Authority.
The Head of State disclosed that he had received a report with recommendations from the SRC on the review of remuneration and benefits of state officers that will result in a reduction of salaries and allowances for public servants and elected leaders.
“In simple terms, 50 percent of all the money collected as revenues in Kenya goes into the pockets of less than 2 percent of the country’s total population…, This staggering amount is used to pay the salaries and allowances of 700,000 public officers including those of us here today….,” said President Kenyatta
According to the report, as stated by President Kenyatta, there is need for among other measures rationalization of salaries and allowances that is paid to senior state officers including elected officials from Members of the County Assembly (MCA’s) all the way to the president.
“As your President, and as a Kenyan, I fully support the recommendations of the SRC and I call upon all of us to adopt these recommendations,” added the President.
President Kenyatta noted that the current wage bill greatly threatens to destroy the development agenda if the nation. He also noted that his government has established a firm foundation to be used as a spring board to accelerate the growth of our economy & provide jobs for our youth.
In case the move to rationalize public servants’ salaries and allowances goes through, the economy of the country might end up stabilizing and improving greatly since most of the revenue collected ends up being used to pay public servants which at times forcing the country to borrow funds from other sectors so as to meet its needs thus burdening the tax payer more.