From the beginning of this July, all civil servants salaries will be frozen for two years in attributing its decision to the tough economic times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The suspension as announced by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) affects basic salary, allowances and benefits paid to people in the public service sector and all government workers.SRC boss Lyn Mengich says the move has been made to enable the government to steady the economy.
The freeze comes at a time allowances for new employees joining the civil service from July has been limited to slightly less than 40 per cent of the monthly gross pay. The cut is one of the strategies, including no new hiring and removal of ghost workers all this aiming at reducing Kenya’s expanding public sector wage bill. There will also be no further funding provided for implementing job evaluation results.
Despite the limitations, the government is facing financially at the moment, be it the wage bill ratios, the need to release resources for investment in the strategic priorities of the government to jumpstart the Covid-19-ravaged economy, there is not going to be a review on the basic salary structures, allowances and benefits paid in the public sector for the next two years as the Treasury has been struggling to raise revenues to run the bloated public wage bill that consumes more than half of taxes, impeding spending on development projects.
SRC agreed on suspending the implementation of the third pay review cycle following advice from the Treasury. The commission said the pay increment would have cost the government Sh82 billion. There has been a challenge in revenue performance due to slowed economic activities countrywide. The commission will review the situation after two fiscal years, based on the status of the economy at the time.