Members of Parliament who served between 1983-2001 are set to receive a monthly pension of Ksh 100,000 (taxable) after parliament Wednesday voted to amend the Parliamentary Retirement Benefits law.
The Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which now awaits a Presidential assent seeks to impose a minimum pension for lawmakers who served during the period.
The move by the National Assembly is in keeping with the recommendation of the Akiwumi Tribunal that the former lawmakers be paid an equivalent of one thousand dollars each as a living pension from July 1st, 2010.
The Parliamentary Service Commission had previously adopted the Akiwumi report, putting in motion a protracted engagement to increase the monthly pension to one hundred thousand shillings.
Some current lawmakers have, however, expressed concerns that the passage of the bill is likely to have ripple effects in the Public Service.
For the over hundred former lawmakers however, the passage of the bill presents new dawn having lobbied for years to have their pension revised upwards from the current 6,000 shillings.
This what what some MPs had to say during the debate.
“I want to thank the House for supporting the Parliamentary Pensions (Amendment) Bill. Many of the members who served between 1983-2001 are earning peanuts and this Bill attempts to corrects that. Many of these former members require this money for medical purposes. With Ksh.100,000, they are able to meet a few expenses. With regard to burden on taxpayers, we are in agreement with the House Leadership that these expenses would be backdated to 2010. However, due to the pandemic, that was shelved. They are just about 150 former MPs. For the first year, the cost would be about Ksh. 144M. This would be not cause a dent in our budgets.” Leader of Minority Hon. CPA John Mbadi
“These members who served between 1983-2001 require this financial support to cater for the very basic needs.” Hon Gladys Wanga, CBS
“It is important to look at this Bill from both sides of the coin. It is good that the Committee dropped the amendment on backdating the payments to 2010. That would have cost the taxpayers heavily. If Treasury has already given an adverse opinion at this point, then there is a likelihood that there might be an adverse opinion given when the President is signing the Bill. However, it is important to note that this might cause a spiral effect in the civil service. Where others see that MPs have increased their pension, then they would want the same.” Hon. Aden Duale
“This Bill is very timely and will alleviate the problems our former colleagues are facing. Former Members of Parliament are going through many troubles and I urge the President to assent to this Bill.” Hon. Junet Mohamed
“It is unfortunate that these contributions and comments are coming up at the Third Reading. Ideally, these comments should have been raised at the Second Reading. This Bill seeks to adjust the Ksh. 6,000 to Ksh. 100,000 to the vagaries of inflation.” Hon Dr. Amos Kimunya
“It was so pathetic that at one time a former MP came to Nairobi and could not stay with his relatives. I had to house him in my house. This is a very timely Bill.” Hon. Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza Constituency)