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SRC moves to scrap more allowances for civil servants

SRC (alaries and Remuneration Commission) marks more allowances for scrapping in its hird phase of the review.

In its efforts to unify public sector pay, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has identified further allowances for removal.

Employing institutions are anticipated to be involved in the secondary scraps, the third step of the assessment of allowances.

  The SRC is expected to consult with the employing institutions before recommending each institution on which specific allowances should be combined, renamed, reorganized, repealed, or  retained.

“There will be not just savings but it will also help us address the issue of harmonisation of pay, equity, and fairness,” SRC Chairperson Lyn Mengich noted.

The engagement with employing institutions will mark the penultimate phase of streamlining of allowances in public service, a multi-year process that started with the review of allowances of State officers.

The last phase will see a gradual evaluation of the benefits and allowances provided under collective bargaining agreements in order to bring them into compliance with the framework for public service.

The SRC eliminated retreat and sitting expenses last month for institutional internal committees’ task teams and committees.

At the same time, the Commission maintained the same daily subsistence allowances (DSAs) for international travel while standardizing DSAs for local travel.

The review is focused on addressing a number of issues that contribute to the national wage bill, such as rate disparities, the percentage of basic pay, and payments for expenses already covered by the basic income.

The SRC also aims to address the abundance of allowances and their varied titles.

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Across the 2022/23 financial year, the SRC scrapped plenary sitting, ministerial, and taxable car allowance.

The SRC believes that the elimination of the first two has produced savings of Sh1.7 billion annually, while the abolition of the taxable automobile allowance has produced savings of Sh2.4 billion annually.

The SRC describes allowances as any periodic or one-off pay to public officers over and above basic salary to address specific needs or circumstances of an employee.

According to the SRC, there are about 247 allowances that make up nearly half the wage bill or 48 percent.

The top 20 allowances paid in the public service take up 95 percent of the total expenditure on allowances.

The top five remunerative allowances by the size of expenditure are house, commuter/transport, hardship, police/prison and leave allowances.

Top facilitative allowances are daily subsistence, mileage, and foreign service allowances.

For many decades, public service allowances have remained a headache in the government’s pursuit of streamlining the payments and trimming the ever-rising wage bill.

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