MPs have agreed, for now, to take a monthly pay of Sh532,500 as proposed by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission. But they have asked for a special review from the commission to benchmark their pay with other parliaments in the Commonwealth.
The decision, according to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, is that aside from the salaries, the MPs will also get a Sh5 million car grant, and they will also earn pension as per the contributory scheme.
The MPs will also smile because they will be paid a weekly mileage of Sh109 per kilometre up to a maximum of 750 kilometres. Those who travel beyond that distance will be paid at a rate of 70 per cent the rates as approved by the Automobile Association of Kenya, for all the extra kilometres.
“Based on the cost-benefit analysis by SRC this was found to be a more viable option as opposed to Government providing chauffeur-driven vehicles to all the 416 Members of Parliament. Consequently the Commission confirmed that it is more cost effective to provide a one-off car grant of Sh5 million,” said an SRC statement sent to the Nation on Tuesday night.
Those who attended the meeting said the SRC was asked to drop its confrontational tone with the MPs, and the MPs too were asked to engage in meaningful discussion, rather than the threats of disbanding the salaries commission. (READ: Serem, MPs in crisis pay talks)
It understood that President Uhuru Kenyatta sent the Deputy President William Ruto to the closed-door meeting at Continental House Nairobi to push the Parliamentary Service Commission to accept the salaries commission deal.
While this may have implications on the doctrine of separation of powers, more so, between the Executive and the Legislature, the Parliamentary Service Commission acceded to the demands, because, their political bosses told them the issue had taken inordinately long.
Those privy to the details of the meeting said the MPs had no other option because the push for Sh851,000 pay was not even on the table at the meeting.
“The Commission has also taken into consideration that Members of Parliament are currently on a Defined Benefit contributory pension scheme and has therefore retained the same retirement benefits provision for the MPs,” the salaries commission noted.
The SRC did not release any details about the agreed sitting allowances, especially for the House Committees and the sitting of the House.
The PSC had wanted the salaries commission to double the sitting allowances for MPs from Sh5,000 to Sh10,000; raise the perks for the vice chairperson of a committee from Sh8,000 to Sh15,000; and double that of the chairperson from the current Sh10,000 to Sh20,000.