MPs demand 11.7 billion shillings for luxury cars and salaries of assistants

Economy

MPs demand 11.7 billion shillings for luxury cars and salaries of assistants


Legislators at the Parliament Buildings. PICTURES | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

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Abstract

  • The 418 parliamentarians, including the two presidents, are entitled to low-cost mortgages, car loans, a free vehicle and benefits that make them one of the highest paid lawmakers on the continent.
  • The 4.2 billion shilling car grants will see newly elected MPs get new vehicles at taxpayers’ expense, underscoring the burden of keeping lawmakers comfortable.
  • Legislators are currently entitled to a car loan of 7 million shillings, in addition to a car grant of 5 million shillings and a mortgage of 20 million shillings.

Members of Parliament have asked the Treasury to include an additional 11.7 billion shillings in the budget for free cars for everyone, a send-off package for their aides and millions more for mortgage and debt payments. medical insurance.

The Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee wants 4.2 billion shillings for free cars for MPs who will be elected after the August 9 elections, a 6.6 billion shillings consignment package for their aides and a additional 500 million shillings on their subsidized mortgage.

They are also seeking 373 million shillings to cover the medical costs of MPs who fail to win back their seats in the general election.

The Committee said the one-time expense was unavoidable as they prepare to leave office after the election, where some MPs may not be re-elected.

The 418 parliamentarians, including the two presidents, are entitled to low-cost mortgages, car loans, a free vehicle and benefits that make them one of the highest paid lawmakers on the continent.

Thousands of personal assistants attached to the 68 senators from the 47 counties and the 350 members of the National Assembly should receive juicy retirement benefits, which are equivalent to 31% of their salaries earned over the five-year term.

“The Parliamentary Services Committee submitted to the Budget and Appropriations Committee expenditure requirements amounting to 65.71 billion shillings. This translates into a deviation of 27.23 billion shillings from the resource ceiling of 38.476 billion shillings presented by the National Treasury,” says Kanini Kega, chairman of the committee, in the report tabled in the National Assembly this week. .

“The committee observed that the additional demands include one-time expenditures amounting to 11.7 billion shillings which are unavoidable in the current circumstances given the expiry of the 12th Parliament.”

The 4.2 billion shilling car grants will see newly elected MPs get new vehicles at taxpayers’ expense, underscoring the burden of keeping lawmakers comfortable.

Legislators are currently entitled to a car loan of 7 million shillings, in addition to a car grant of 5 million shillings and a mortgage of 20 million shillings.

However, the 4.2 billion shillings translates into a car subsidy of 10 million shillings for each of the 418 members, signaling a push to double the benefit of 5 million shillings.

The increase comes as car prices have soared due to supply chain constraints and the depreciation of the Kenyan shilling against the dollar.

It is therefore likely that it will be difficult for MPs to acquire luxury fuel consumers that suit their status.

Car loans to MPs attract 3% annual interest in an economy where the average borrowing rate is 12.34% and recouped over their five-year term

The 6.6 billion shillings gratuity will benefit lawmakers’ current staff, including drivers, office secretaries, county employees and personal assistants whose monthly salaries are paid for by taxpayers.

MPs who fail to return after the poll will receive either millions in a one-off payment or a lifetime pension depending on terms served.

The MP Pensions Act states that MPs who serve for more than two consecutive terms are entitled to a monthly pension of 125,000 shillings for the rest of their lives.

For MPs who lose after serving a term, they are reimbursed the equivalent of three times their monthly pension contribution, including interest at 15%.

Raising MPs’ salaries is an emotional issue for the public, who view the decision as insensitive given the country’s economic difficulties.

The government has been particularly hard on civil servants in an effort to rein in rising wage bills, but has struggled to stop MPs who presuppose the passing of the budget from the approval of their benefits.

Many Kenyans see parliamentarians as symbols of a greedy political culture, seeking public office as an opportunity for personal gain at the expense of a country mired in poverty and an unemployment rate of over 30%. .

They argued that they needed high salaries because voters expected them to provide charitable support.

Some also said MPs could be vulnerable to bribes if their salaries were set too low.

About Veronica Richards

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