Contain this ballooning public wage bill

Recently during a Cabinet retreat ,the President Uhuru,his deputy Ruto,Cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries uninamously agreed to forgo a pay cut in their salaries so as to contain the ballooning and escalating wage bill which is weighing heavily on our economy.And,what the President has achieved with his gesture is to put the problem of the public sector wage bill on the national agenda.

The debate on the public wage bill is healthy.It is an eye opener for the nation,especially on the policy formulation and implementation.It is turning out to be a gigantic monster which is staring at the government ,and ,that’s why the Jubilee government led by President Kenyatta ,and,his deputy Ruto,have sent alarm bells over the ballooning wage bill .The President is conveying a mesage that the wage bill must be brought down to manageable levels.

It is a well calculated strategy meant to bring the matter to the national limelight.At the core of the matter is the fact that the government must reorganize it’s finances to meet developmental goals.As things stand currently,everybody knows what the problem is.That the public wage bill consumes 50 percent of all government tax revenue ,computes to 43 percent of expenditure and 13 percent of the Gross Domestic Product is an undisputable fact that does not need to stir a sterile national debate.

Ruthless measures are urgently needed to tame the country’s bloated wage bill.And,this debate on public expenditure puts policy-makers ,economic planners ,financial analysts,unions and political leaders on the pedal to deliberate on government expenditure in the light of the spiralling costs that threatens to undermine growth and development.

Bill for salaries stands at more than shs.500 billion,or,half of government’s revenue.An 8 year season of generous payrises to public workers ,plus numerous commissions and commissioners with heavy budgets and hefty pay packages ,and,a hiring spree have brought the economy to the brink of ruin.The wage bill has mounted to a level of 13 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.This means that 13 percent of the wealth created in the economy goes in paying civil servants and state officers.

As a result ,money for development is tight ,which worsens ,as little remains for infrastructure development which are critical for economic growth.


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