The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has issued a significant directive that will result in the removal of several allowances previously granted to state officers.
This directive, set to take effect shortly, carries significant implications for civil servants across different job groups working within various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
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Among the allowances that will no longer be payable are the plenary sitting allowance, ministerial allowance, and taxable car allowance. Additionally, SRC also wants to scrap retreat allowances, sitting allowances for institutional internal committees, and taskforce allowances for institutional internal committees.
This move by SRC comes after a clash between the Commission and Members of Parliament in August 2022. MPs threatened to disband the SRC following the commission’s proposal to eliminate the plenary sittings allowance for MPs and Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).
They argued that this change would significantly impact their income, as they receive allowances for a minimum of four sittings each week.
SRC issued a circular in August 2023, explaining that they pay the retreat allowance to public officers participating in special assignments, requiring them to develop and produce policy documents away from their regular workplaces.
The SRC justifies this change by stating that it assesses a staff member’s capabilities during the recruitment phase, rendering additional allowances that do not provide value for taxpayer money unnecessary.
Furthermore, the SRC argues that providing sitting allowances for members of institutional internal committees on top of their basic salary amounts to double compensation. This move aligns with President William Ruto’s call in June 2023 for the SRC to explore options for reducing the salaries of high-ranking state officers as part of efforts to curb the country’s escalating wage bill.
These changes are expected to have a significant impact on state officers’ earnings, prompting discussions and debates about the compensation structures for public servants and their implications for government expenditure.