Economy

Bill to give MPs Sh100,000 lifetime pay returns

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Lawmakers at Parliament Buildings. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

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Summary

  • President Kenyatta rejected a similar Bill in September 2020, saying it would add a Sh444 million annual tax burden on taxpayers.
  • The Bill says that the proposed changes to the Parliamentary Pensions Act, 2002 will lift the fortunes of more than 375 former MPs.
  • The fresh push comes at a time the government is seeking to reduce spending on the wage bill and free up cash to fund development projects and pay maturing loans.

Parliament has revived a bid to triple the pension for lawmakers who served between 1984 and 2001 to Sh100,000 in what promises to further increase the costs of sustaining retired public officers.

A Bill by Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime that seeks to increase the pension from the current Sh33,000 per month was published last month, two years after President Uhuru Kenyatta shot down a similar proposal.

President Kenyatta rejected a similar Bill in September 2020, saying it would add a Sh444 million annual tax burden on taxpayers.

The Bill says that the proposed changes to the Parliamentary Pensions Act, 2002 will lift the fortunes of more than 375 former MPs.

“Despite serving the nation, some former Members of Parliament are languishing in poverty and there is [a] need to take care of their welfare,” reads the Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The fresh push comes at a time the government is seeking to reduce spending on the wage bill and free up cash to fund development projects and pay maturing loans.

Estimates show that the cost of sustaining the former MPs will rise to Sh15.075 million per month or Sh180.9 million annually if the Bill is passed into law.

The proposed law further seeks to backdate the new pension to July 1, 2010, in line with recommendations by a task force appointed to evaluate the lives of former MPs 10 years ago.

Chaired by retired Justice (Rtd) Akilano Akiwumi, the team recommended that 500 former MPs who served between 1984 and 2001 to be paid the equivalent of $1,000 as a lifetime pension and the payment be backdated to July 1, 2010.

The current law that governs pension for MPs stipulates that only lawmakers who serve for two terms or more are entitled to a monthly pension of at least Sh125,000 for the rest of their lives.

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