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CS Kuria urges reconsideration of new salary structure amid economic concerns

By Harun Mugambi

The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Performance, and Delivery Management Moses Kuria has called for a halt to the implementation of a new salary structure for state officers.

In a strongly worded letter addressed to Mrs. Lyn Mengich, Chairperson of the Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC), Kuria acknowledged the constitutional authority of the SRC to set and review remuneration for state officers. He, however, has emphasized the recent resolutions from the Third National Wage Bill Conference, highlighting efforts to reduce the national wage bill amidst economic challenges.

“I reiterate my observations during the Conference that it is not sustainable to have 900,000 public servants consume Ksh 1.1 trillion annually,” Kuria has stated, noting concerns that such expenditure represents 47 percent of national revenues.

Citing the Public Finance Management Act of 2012, which caps the public wage bill at 35 percent of the national budget, Kuria expressed worry over the escalating expenditure on salaries and benefits.

“Our current trajectory indicates a continual rise in expenditure on salaries, allowances, and benefits for public servants, placing immense strain on our national finances,” he remarked.

As a result, Kuria, responsible for overseeing public service operations, declared his decision not to implement the gazette notice affecting the Executive arm of the National Government.

He has urged the SRC to rescind the entire new salary structure across all levels of government, urging a collective effort in fiscal prudence.

“I urge the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and other institutions in the public sector on the need to make sacrifices that we expect other Kenyans to make,” Kuria has concluded, highlighting the moral and ethical dimensions of the issue.

Kenya Gazette Notice No. 177 of August 9, 2023, outlined remuneration adjustments scheduled to take effect from July 1, 2024.

The Cabinet Secretary’s directive comes amidst broader efforts to streamline government expenditures in line with austerity measures announced by the President. The economic implications of the decision are expected to prompt further deliberations within the government and public sector institutions.

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