Economy

County salaries, allowances growth slows to 2.4pc

COB

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Data from the Controller of Budget (CoB) shows that salaries and benefits for counties’ staff grew 2.4 percent to Sh176.03 billion from Sh171.83 billion the previous year.
  • This is the slowest growth in salaries and allowances for the counties, with the closest being the 5.6 percent rise in the period to June last year.

Salaries and allowances for counties grew at the slowest rate in the year to June, amid struggles by counties to contain the ballooning wage bill and free more funds for delivery of basic services like health.

Data from the Controller of Budget (CoB) shows that salaries and benefits for counties’ staff grew 2.4 percent to Sh176.03 billion from Sh171.83 billion the previous year.

This is the slowest growth in salaries and allowances for the counties, with the closest being the 5.6 percent rise in the period to June last year.

The wage bill increase shines the spotlight on the struggles to stem spending on salaries and allowances with the CoB Margaret Nyakango raising concerns that the spending has hit unsustainable levels.

The ballooning wage bill has forced counties to squeeze funds for development projects and increased reliance on the National Treasury for cash transfers amid perennial misses in their internal revenue collections.

“County Governments should ensure that expenditure on personnel emoluments is contained at sustainable levels,” Ms Nyakango said in the report.

The rise came at a time counties increased their employee numbers by 7.7 percent to 204,000 last year as they raced to replace aging staff, those who have died and others who exited service on medical grounds.

Counties, unlike the national government, have maintained fresh hirings citing the need to replace employees inherited from the defunct municipal councils with technical workers.

Majority of them, however breached the cap on spending for salaries and allowances in the year to June. The data shows that 42 counties breached the ceiling on wage bill.