Editorials

Raising salaries for MPs’ staff untimely

mps

Members of Parliament follow proceedings as National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani unveiled the Sh3.3 trillion Budget at parliament buildings on April 7, 2022. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

The review of salaries for the support staff of the new MPs to nearly two times more by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) is in bad taste.

The new pay structure will see county office managers for the 416-member bicameral Parliament earn up to Sh259,500 a month.

It should be clear to Parliament that the country is grappling with huge expenses beyond tax revenues and the debt to cover the deficit is too expensive and unsustainable.

While it is understandable for workers to demand higher pay during inflationary times to meet higher cost of living, such increases should reflect on the ability of the government to meet these higher salaries.

At Sh950 billion, the public sector wage bill is running out of hand taking up half of all tax collections. Add debt of Sh1.39 trillion this year and the government hardly has enough to meet social spending like health, education, water and sanitation.

The Ruto administration has already committed to institute nearly Sh3000bn budget cuts to create some fiscal space and this should not be replaced by raising salaries for MPs' support staff.