A Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra) report has indicated that Kenyan workers are worse off in spite of the 12 percent minimum wage increase that was awarded last year.
The think-tank says the minimum expenditure households require was galloping at 22 percent, dimming the benefits of the pay rise. Well, the minimum wage increase is rarely something to write home about for workers.
Many times, the increase is a drop in the ocean. For example, security guards got a raise from Sh15,141.95 to Sh16,958.98, giving them less than Sh2,000 before taxation.
When police officers were awarded a raise, some categories got less than Sh2,000 before taxation.
However, taxation has made the current situation worse despite the Kenya Kwanza administration having promised to help low-income earners.
We appeal to the government to revisit its plan to make life bearable for Kenyans at the bottom of the pyramid.
It should explore better ways of reducing the cost of living, including by making taxation bearable, putting the cost of doing business under control and facilitating farmers to boost food production.