Kenyan president orders review of MPs’ pay rise after outcry

Kenya’s President William Ruto has ordered a review of plans to raise the salaries of members of the cabinet and parliament following a public outcry.

It comes a week after mass protests forced Mr Ruto to drop a controversial finance bill that had included tax hikes.

People began questioning how the salaries of politicians, including governors, could be raised when there was a supposed financial crisis.

The pay increase of between 2% and 5% for all state officials, covering judges as well, was recommended by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

It issued a notice last year, proposing that the increases take effect from the beginning of this month.

But Public Service Minister Moses Kuria said he would not implement the increases “as applies” to the cabinet.

Mr Ruto abandoned plans to increase taxes after protesters complained they could not afford to pay them as they were already hit by the sharp increase in the cost of living.

Many said the government should first reduce spending, which President Ruto has vowed to do.

Several lawmakers – including Aaron Cheruiyot, a senator from the ruling coalition – have called for parliament to reject the pay increase.

Adan Keynan, an opposition party MP allied with the government, expressed a similar view, saying the proposed increase was “tone-deaf”.

While opposition senator Edwin Sifuna said higher salaries could not be justified “when the whole country is saying we need to lessen the taxpayer burden”.



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