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SRC renews fight with MPs over Sh250,000 house allowance

MPs in session.
MPs in session. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) is assembling a legal team for a second round of a battle with MPs over house allowances almost six months after it lost a similar one at the High Court.

SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich on Wednesday termed the Sh250,000 per month house allowance the Parliamentary Service Commission (Palscom) recently awarded the MPs unconstitutional.

“Palscom does not have the mandate to review or set salaries and allowances yet the gross package gazetted in 2017 already include house allowance for State officers,” said Mrs Mengich.

“SRC will take legal action to stop any payment that has not been set or advised by SRC, and recover such payment,” she said.

Any pay made without SRC’s flout the principle of fairness and equity, she said.

Last month, each of the 416 MPs received Sh2.25 million as monthly house allowance after it was backdated by nine months.

The move followed the December ruling by Justice George Odunga, which declared illegal the SRC’s bid to slash salaries and allowances, citing “procedural impropriety.”

The SRC has since contested the ruling in court.

Early this month, the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi was reported in the media as having defended the hefty payout saying MPs, just like judges and Cabinet Secretaries, were entitled to a house allowance.

Yesterday, Mrs Mengich said MPs were mistaking the housing benefit — available to the President, governors and their deputies to cater to official functions held outside their work stations — for house allowance.

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