The National Treasury has bowed to pressure from Parliament and agreed to form a team to determine lawmakers’ gratuity amounting to millions of shillings each as their term lapses.
The Parliamentary Service Commission, House committee chairpersons, Treasury and Salaries and Remuneration Commission bosses yesterday resolved to form the team in a heated meeting behind closed doors at Parliament Buildings.
Treasury CS Henry Rotich said MPs are “concerned about their gratuity” as their five-year term comes to an end, hence pushing to have the money set aside.
The Constitution allows the 416 MPs, both in Senate and National Assembly, to pocket Sh11,011,200 each as gratuity for their service once their term ends on election day. Forming the team is a clear indicator that they are protesting against a total sum of Sh4.58 billion from public coffers.
“There are issues MPs are concerned about in terms of gratuity at the end of their term. They have been throwing figures here and there on the sum they want but we have formed a team to look into it. We will meet again on Tuesday next week to look into it,” Rotich said.
Although Parliament will dissolve on June 5 for the August 8 general election, each MP will pocket Sh1.09 million in salary for two months with no work.
National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale last month assured members they will serve up to August 7, a day to the elections. He based his argument to a constitutional provision.
In the past, Parliament was dissolved 60 days ahead of the polls but the 2010 Constitution says its term runs to the day of the next election.
“Members will get their salaries and allowances. That is a guarantee I can give this House,” Duale said while moving the motion to adopt the calendar.
Rotich maintained additional budget by Parliament and ministries cannot be met and that Treasury has been forced to slash their requests in supplementary budget to fund emerging areas of priority to address the looming drought, doctors and lectures’ strikes.
“Budget cuts aredone all over the world. When I tell them we cut to finance emerging priority areas, they complain and say I should reinstate the budgets. First, I don’t know where to get the money. I cannot raise taxes because I have to make changes to the Finance Bill and if we go borrowing, you [media] will be reporting how the national debt continues rising,” he said.