THE TRIBUNAL’S PROPOSAL: WHAT AN ACT OF HYPOCRISY? By Mungai.

If there is one dream job you dream of is been a Kenyan member of parliament. This Lot of 222 members do belong to that elite club of the most highly paid personalities. It is been noted that currently the members of parliament are the ,most highly paid members in the society, and, still most of them belong to that elite club of the super rich. To them politics is only a laid back procedural position to protect their interests and acquire power so as to manipulate the system.

And that’s why the politicians do fight tooth and nail to survive in this turbulent political waters, it pays handsomely to be a Kenyan M.P where one receives a hefty pay pack.

Imagine been a Kenyan Member of Parliament, and, at the end of the month your payslip reads the current salary analysis; the salary is Kshs 200000 (Taxable), plus the allowances; constituency shs 50000 house, shs 80000 Extraneous, Shs 30000, car maintenance shs 75000, entertainment shs 70000, transport – Shs 366000 which all adds up to Kshs 851,000 and this is backed up by other privileges.

But despite receiving such hefty pay packs the honourable members of house continues to under perform dismally. The job they were entailed and intended to perform remains unattended and if they do perform it’s only a scratch on the surface, which isn’t done perfectly. Most of them do spend much of their time politicking, instead of been in parliament deliberating on how they can legislate good laws, And, that’s why the house is constantly been hit by lack of quorum

And, that’s why over the last few years Kenyans have ranted and lodged hullabos of criticism concerning the huge salaries enjoyed by the under- performing M.Ps and the continued resistance to be taxed on the allowances. The gospel of M.Ps not paying taxes has raised objections in several quarters and against a back draw of huge salary disparity in Government’s public service employees.

This public outcry and criticism necessitated the formation of a tribunal appointed by the house chaired by the retired appellate Judge Akilano Akiwumi. Several attempts to tax the M.Ps have met a stiff resistance from them, after an initial proposal that was proposed by the former finance minister, Amos Kimunya, was Thrashed. Finance minister, Uhuru Kenyatta, in his budget speech repeated the proposal but then it was more of a request.

And it was worth noting that this move by the M.Ps doesn’t boil down well among the general public, and the manner in which they do dispel it considering the facts that Kenyans are been heavily taxed ion every cent they do earn.

To cool down the flared tempers that’s why this tribunal was constituted and mandated to look on the matter whether the M.Ps should be taxed and how, and recommend the best way forward. They were to hand over a detailed recommended report to parliament for adoption.

But, according to a tribunal’s report if it is to be adopted the M.ps will be smiling all the way to the bank, after a far wide ranging pay and allowances increments we proposed, and, whether this move will boil down well among the Kenyan is another matter.

Kenyans had the Faith with the tribunal to look into the issue, and we foolishly believed they would recommend a pay cut and impose tax in their allowances. They the M.Ps to add to their already obscenely hefty-tax-free salaries.

In their report, the tribunal has proposed and recommended the increment of M.Ps salaries from Shs. 851,000 to shs 896,000. In addition, the M.Ps pay will be increased by 5 percent every year to cushion them against a rise in the cost of living, and, also their allowance for sitting in parliament has been doubled.

These recommendations were put into consideration with the fact that the Members of Parliament are honourable members of the society. What an act of hypocrisy it is in this silent assertion assumption statement.

But, the M.Ps will pay more tax after their taxed basic salary was increased from Kshs 200000 to Kshs 350000. The bulk of their income is made up of allowances which will however not be taxed, and according to the tribunal, cannot be taxed until the law is changed.

The tribunal noted and agonized over awarding a pay rise for M.Ps in the face of public hostility and an economy in recession. It also emerged that House speaker bowed to public pressure and instructed the tribunal reviewing the M.Ps allowances to act on the public outcry.

But, since it was beyond it’s authority to impose taxes, the tribunal just offered “Scenarios” in which the members of Parliament could quell the public ire. It would be ironical for them to propose a salary cut, because, how would you have reduced the salaries of people who appointed you to the tribunal and enabled you to enjoy huge perks.

In it’s report the tribunal recommends a salary of Kshs 350000 (taxable) plus allowances, constituency, shs 100000, house – shs 135000 extraneous shs 100000 these all adds up to Kshs 896,000. It is been noted that the members salary may sky rocket in accordance with their house committees attendance.

But are the members of the parliament Justified in this kind of hefty pay packages, or, are they worth the salary; if they do happen to adopt the tribunals report?

It would be an act of hypocrisy on their part because we all know money is a common and a unifying denominator and they might gang up and adopt the report. The Kenyans are flabbergasted that the tribunal went ahead to increase the allowances which by any standard are inordinately high.

It sounds a bit naïve because in a country where half the population lives below the poverty line, the tribunals recommendation was a resounding slap in the face to Kenyans.

Our members of parliament are the most and most useless in the world should instead have a salary cut, or pegged on their performance, and if the M.Ps wants to show a shred of integrity they should vote to throw the report out.

The rich have absolutely no interest in the plight of the majority of Kenyans languishing in abject poverty. The tribunal’s proposal increment of 5 percent annually to cushion the increasing costs of living is rather wanting and totally misplaced, wondering if the rising cost of living in this country only affects members of Parliament and not the other more hardworking fellow Kenyans.


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