Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
MPs could soon get a salary increment if recommendations of a House committee are implemented by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
The committee on Services and Facilities chaired by Nyaribari Masaba MP Ezekiel Ombaki has made the recommendations following extensive benchmarking trips in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on how counterparts in those countries are accorded services to perform their roles.
In a report prepared in April, the committee expressed concerns that the salaries given to MPs is not at par with salaries and other state officers such as judges and cabinet secretaries.
In addition, the committee also wants mechanisms put in place to ensure MPs are provided with a monthly statement of their allowances both in the chamber and committees.
The committee also wants the perks for members increased enable them to deliver on their mandate comfortably.
Further, they want members to be given full per diems and that they are allowed to facilitate their own accommodation whether inside or outside the country. In the past, the MPs are booked in whenever they are in or outside the country.
In a gazette notice on July 1, 2017, the SRC reduced MPs basic pay from Sh710,000 to Sh621,000 a month and removed the annual progression rate for the legislators.
The commission also reduced the basic salaries of Speakers of the Senate and National Assembly from Sh1.3 million to Sh1.2 million. Those of Deputy Speakers was slashed from Sh1.05 million to Sh924,000.
“With regard to the salaries and allowances of the members, the salary given to the MPs is not at par to salaries of state officers such as judges and cabinet secretaries,” reads the report in part.
Consequently, the committee also wants SRC to increase MPs mileage allowance, car grant and introduce house allowance for them.
The mileage allowance according to the committee, is not standard and depends on consumption capacity (cc) of a car vis a vis distance covered.
In the report, the committee expressed concerns that grants offered to members are not sufficient to purchase a decent four-wheel drive vehicle for use especially on terrain areas that most members have to cover.
Previous negotiations with the SRC saw the MPs get back their Sh5 million car grant and sitting allowance, which had been abolished by SRC.
The recommendations are part of wider proposals that the committee wants implemented to better the services of members.
Among the facilities that the committee wants to improve include gymnasium which they said is not adequate for them and not well maintained.
In addition, the committee also wants internet services in Parliament improved as the server room at Continental House is not secured while on the lactating mothers, they want the lactating policy agreed upon in 2014 implemented.