Kenyan MPs are to see their salaries cut by 15% as part of a drive to reduce public sector pay bills by 35%.
The MPs’ $7,200 (£5,500) monthly pay will be reduced to $6,100 and some of their generous allowances will be scrapped. The average income in Kenya is $150 a month.
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) said the review will affect pay and allowances of national and county officials, including the president, whose gross monthly salary has been reduced from $16,000 to $14,000.
Politicians’ perks include a personal car loan up to $67,400 repayable at 3% interest, an official car grant of $48,000 per 5-year term, mileage (or business class travel by air or rail in lieu) and car maintenance of $3,440 monthly, and free mortgages up to $190,000, according to the monitoring body Africa Check.
The lawmakers blocked previous attempts to tax and/or cap their pay, saying that their constituents depended on the MPs to help them financially.
Despite the reduction, the MPs will still remain some of the best paid legislators in the world, with incomes higher than the UK and the US.
SRC boss Sarah Serem said the abolition of mileage and sitting allowances, favoured by MPs, “were prone to abuse”. She added: “There were claims of up to Sh2 million ($20,000) per month.”