Kenyans to fork out over $5 million in send-off pay for ministers and Permanent Secretaries

The Cabinet secretaries and PSs will pocket the send-off packages regardless of whether they will be re-appointed to serve again.

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Cabinet and principal secretaries who served in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government are set to earn handsome exit packages when a new government is formed.

Kenyan taxpayers will have to fork out over Sh570 million($5.5 million) to finance the send-off perks of cabinet ministers and their Permanent Secretaries(PSs); highlighting the heavy burden of Kenya’s gratuity scheme for elected leaders and top public servants.

The package will see each Cabinet Secretary walk away with Sh14.6 million ($141,514) each in gratuity payment while the Principal Secretaries– who are the administrative heads at each State department – will get exit packages of Sh11.8 million ($114,374)each.

This golden parachute to ministers and PSs is premised on the fact that they are not entitled to pension, but gratuity equivalent to 31 per cent of annual basic pay for every year served.

According to guidelines by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), The Cabinet secretaries and PSs will pocket the send-off perks regardless of whether they will be re-appointed to serve again.

“A State officer serving on fixed term shall serve on contract and be paid a service gratuity at the end of the term at the rate of 31 per cent of annual basic pay for every year served,” noted SRC, the commission mandated with reviewing salary structures of State officers.

Public finance experts are now calling for a review of the gratuity model, and its replacement with a scheme where public office holders and taxpayers jointly contribute to a pension scheme, accessible at the end of one’s term in office.

The list of public officers who will earn handsome exit pay in the form of gratuity following the August 8 General Election includes the Speakers of parliament and county assemblies, 416 legislators, 47 governors and their deputies, 2,222 ward representatives, county executive committee members, chief officers, and county secretaries.

Still, there have been calls by public finance experts to have a review of the gratuity model, such that it can be pegged on the performance of the economy.

This arising from the fact that Kenya’s total wage bill stood at Sh675.8 billion against tax collections of Sh1.365 trillion in the period to June 2017.

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