Economy

BBI raises MPs’ pay budget by Sh324m

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Parliament buildings in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The report, presented on Wednesday to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, proposes to increase the number of lawmakers to 456 — up from the current 418, including the National Assembly and Senate speakers.
  • Currently, the bicameral Parliament has 349 members in the National Assembly and 67 in the Senate, excluding the Speakers.
  • Each MP earns a basic pay of Sh710,000, meaning their employer the Parliamentary Service Commission(PSC) currently spends a minimum Sh3.54 billion annually or Sh295.36 million monthly on their salaries.

The annual salary budget for MPs will increase by at least Sh323.76 million if Kenyans approve recommendations by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce to raise the number of legislators.

The report, presented on Wednesday to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, proposes to increase the number of lawmakers to 456 — up from the current 418, including the National Assembly and Senate speakers.

Currently, the bicameral Parliament has 349 members in the National Assembly and 67 in the Senate, excluding the Speakers.

Each MP earns a basic pay of Sh710,000, meaning their employer the Parliamentary Service Commission(PSC) currently spends a minimum Sh3.54 billion annually or Sh295.36 million monthly on their salaries.

Should the BBI proposal be ratified by Kenyans, the PSC will require an additional Sh323.76 million to meet the basic pay of MPs annually or Sh26.98 million monthly.

Legislators are also entitled to juicy sitting and travel perks, mileage allowance, Sh250,000 housing allowance, Sh5 million car grant, Sh7 million car loan and Sh20 million mortgage.

The Treasury allocated Parliament Sh41 billion in the current financial year. The BBI report further proposes to create the positions of prime minister, two deputy prime ministers as well as the office of the Leader of Official Opposition complete with a shadow Cabinet, all at taxpayers’ expense.

At the Senate, BBI team wants Article 98 of the Constitution amended to create vacancies for 94 Senators, being one woman and one man to be elected by the registered voters in each of the 47 counties.

The Constitution stipulates that the National Assembly consists of 290 members, each elected by the registered voters of single member constituencies; 47 women, each elected by the registered voters of the counties, each county constituting a single member constituency; 12 members nominated by parliamentary political parties according to their proportion of members of the National Assembly and the Speaker, who is an ex officio member.

The membership of the Senate as consists of 47 elected members, 16 women members nominated by political parties, two members, being one man and one woman, representing the youth, two members, being one man and one woman, representing persons with disabilities and the Speaker, as an ex officio member.

The BBI report wants the Constitution amended to create the position of Leader of Official Opposition that will be occupied by the person who received the second greatest number of votes in a presidential election

The Attorney-General and Cabinet ministers from outside Parliament will also sit in Parliament as ex-officio members.