President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday declared his unequivocal support for the bold recommendations on public servants pay by the Sarah Serem-led Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC).
The President said the SRC’s recommendations are in line with the Jubilee Administration’s position on a transparent framework for the payment of public servants.
“The Jubilee Administration has sought to guarantee fairness and transparency for paying public servants. But crucially, this has been part of our design to strengthen Kenya’s economy, to create more jobs and lower prices,” he said.
President Kenyatta said the Commission’s report streamlines public servants salaries as envisaged in the Constitution.
“What the Commission is saying is in line with what the Jubilee Administration has contended and embraced over time. Our agenda and plans have reflected this,” said the President.
President Kenyatta said this at State House, Nairobi, when he received recommendation of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission on the new public servants pay structure.
He said one of the key items on the Jubilee Administration’s agenda has been to answer the need to compensate public servants fairly, while managing Kenya’s finances prudently.
“In short, we sought a fair framework for public pay, which would also enable the country to live within its means,” said the President.
The President said over the last few years, his administration has worked to build a foundation for a strong economy that will ensure guarantee creation of jobs for the youth and contain the cost of living to a level acceptable to all Kenyans.
He said the only way to secure a strong economy is to manage Kenya’s finances prudently by restraining recurrent expenditure so as to enable the Government to spend more on social-economic development programmes.
“This means we must pay our public servants, yes fairly, but at levels that will ensure we as a country live within our means,” said President Kenyatta.
The President said for far too long, Kenyans had grown frustrated with the lack of a transparent framework for the payment of public servants.
He said labour disputes had proliferated and the wage bill had grown to unacceptable level.
“Some queried the rationale for the pay structure for some public servants, which appeared distorted and not in sync with the economy,” said the President.
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The President said it was because of this situation that SRC was created as the agency to advice on how the Government could best create the framework to streamline public sector pay.
He said this would enable the Government to create fiscal space to finance development projects which are key to the realization of a competitive and prosperous Kenya, as enshrined in Vision 2030.
President Kenyatta expressed gratitude that the Commission recognized and provided three factors key for planning.
The aspects considered are, details of the compensation which public servants can expect, both now and in the future.
A comparison of different wages of public servants to ensure fairness and that one group is not paid significantly more than others doing similar work and a clear, transparent guidelines for testing whether public pay is fair, but not exorbitant, so as to avoid waste.
“As, I have noted, the money we save will be available to continue building roads and bridges and other infrastructure to strengthen the economy and provide more jobs for Kenyans,” said President Kenyatta.
The President called on all Kenyans to support the Commission’s recommendations and the Jubilee Administration’s quest to keep the wage bill at sustainable levels.
“The days of wasteful allowances and peculiar but inexplicable payments are behind us. Better and more prosperous days lie ahead,” said President Kenyatta.
He commended the diligence of the Commission, saying its report will go a long way in guiding and ensuring prudence in the way the country manages public funds.