Economy

MCAs’ sitting allowances rise highest in three years

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Summary

  • Data from the Controller of Budget (CoB) shows that each of the 2,242 MCAs took home Sh80,177 on average a month for attending assembly meetings, the highest since the financial year ending June 2017 when they earned Sh84,875.


The average monthly sitting allowance paid to a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) in the nine months to March rose to Sh80,177, the highest in three years.

Data from the Controller of Budget (CoB) shows that each of the 2,242 MCAs took home Sh80,177 on average a month for attending assembly meetings, the highest since the financial year ending June 2017 when they earned Sh84,875.

The ward representatives earned an average of Sh33,136 per month in the year to June 2018 and Sh76,995 the following year after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) cut perks and benefits for State officers.

But the High Court in 2018 reinstated the benefits, forcing the SRC to return the cap on sitting allowances to Sh124,800 monthly from Sh80,000.

Since the scrapping of the SRC’s cuts, the MCAs' sitting allowances resumed their upward trajectory, causing concern that the perks were consuming county government revenues with minimal corresponding impact on public service.

The continued rise in sitting allowances and other perks for MCAs has seen the 47 counties squeeze budgets for provision of basic services such as water, health and roads.

The county assemblies spent Sh1.6 billion on MCAs' sitting allowances against an approved budget of Sh2.8 billion, compared to Sh1.5 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.

“Homa Bay and Tana River county assemblies reported higher expenditure on sitting allowance than the recommended monthly ceiling of Sh124,800 by the SRC,” said Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o in the report.

Kakamega, Kisii, Nyamira and Busia led the allowances gravy train in the review period, with each MCA pocketing Sh123,413, Sh122,348, Sh121,775 and Sh121, 487 monthly respectively.

Wajir, Kajiado and Samburu MCAs received the least from meetings at Sh35,945, Sh25,850 and Sh20,317 a month respectively.