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IN DEFENSE

Parliament dismisses reports of night allowance for MPs

PSC accuses the media of misleading Kenyans on MPs' salaries and allowances.

In Summary

• Shaban said legislators are using a modest restaurant located within Parliament that has been in existence since independence.

• The commission has also clarified that payment of the mileage claim is determined by the rates set by the SRC and is not true that all MPs are entitled to it.

PSC Vice-Chair Naomi Shabaan addressing the media at Parliament building flanked by Wajir West MP Adan Keynan and Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot.
PSC Vice-Chair Naomi Shabaan addressing the media at Parliament building flanked by Wajir West MP Adan Keynan and Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

The night allowance for Member of Parliament is a creation of the media, the Parliamentary Service Commission said on Thursday.

In a detailed press statement seeking to clarify what MPs earn, the PSC also dismissed reports that the legislators make more than Sh1 million a month.

PSC Vice Chairperson Naomi Shaban said the reporting on matters relating to the remuneration of MPs has been inaccurate and misleading to the Public.

 

She said every MP is entitled to a salary of Sh532, 500 which is also taxable. However, the gazetted salary of MPs is Sh621,250.

"The salaries and allowances earned by Members of Parliament are all taxable as required by the provisions of the Income Tax Act Cap. 470. Members of Parliament, therefore, pay taxes on every salary or allowance earned and they are not exempt from paying taxes," she said.

The PSC also dismissed reports that the legislators had allocated themselves 17 new allowances.

"There is a conservatory order issued by the High Court preventing payment of house allowance to Members of Parliament. It is noteworthy that all other state and public officers are receiving house allowance," the statement by PSC said.

Shabaan who read the statement to the press in Parliament added, "Members of Parliament are only entitled to earn one allowance outside the gross remuneration package of Sh532,500 as determined by Salaries and Remuneration Commission which is a sitting allowance."

Shaban said the allowance is payable to an MP when he or she attends a House or Committee sitting.



"There are no other allowances accorded to an MP. It is worth noting that a sitting allowance is not an automatic allowance that is payable to a Member. A Member must have either attended the House sitting or a Committee sitting evidenced by confirmation of attendance through being present at such a sitting," the PSC said.

 

In the statement, the PSC said MPs are servants of the people of Kenya and this remains their greatest obligation in executing their mandates.

"The Commission, in seeking to ensure that the Members effectively serve the people of Kenya, will continue to engage the Salaries and Remuneration Commission in performing its mandate," the statement read.

There have been reports that if 17 new allowances are granted, the salaries of the legislators would increase from the current Sh1.1 million to between Sh2.1 million and Sh2.9 million.

Should the proposal be effected, an MP will be entitled to between Sh18,200 and Sh24,000 night allowance. This will cumulatively be Sh96,000 a single night and Sh384,000 a month.

The SRC has sued the Parliament for illegal allocation of Sh250,000 monthly house allowance per MP.

PSC further denied claims that the legislators are using a five-star hotel for their catering services.

Shaban said legislators are using a modest restaurant located within Parliament that has been in existence since independence.

She added that the outside catering being offered to them are not for free, and can only be enjoyed by a member upon accepting to pay a monthly fee which is deductible from their salary.

PSC's statement comes after legislators from the Coast declared at a funeral fundraising that they deserve more money.

They said they share their money with constituents and are paid less than the private sector.

On Tuesday, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria distanced himself from a plot by legislators to allocate themselves outrageous allowances.

Kuria  said the allowances are not justifiable.

He said it makes no sense for the legislators to purport to have allocated themselves a night allowance in the name of 'domestic subsistence allowance' while on official Parliamentary Business.

"I find this allowance not justifiable at all costs. I reside in my house in Nairobi and I cannot justify to my family why the taxpayer has to pay me to be away from them," he said.