On Wednesday, Members of Parliament approved a Ksh100,000 monthly pension for former parliamentarians who served between 1984 and 2001, a move that irked a section of Kenyans who continue to decry an already strained economy.
Unmoved by the outcry from the general public, the MPs want to further amend the Parliamentary Pension’s Act to ensure they will continue enjoying full medical cover even after they are voted out of office.
The MPs argue that most ex-legislators are suffering under the heavy cost of medical expenses and there is need to ensure they are covered.
If the proposal is adopted the MPs and their spouses will retain a medical scheme of Ksh10 million for the inpatient cover per family, Ksh300,000 for the outpatient cover, Ksh150,000 for maternity and Ksh75,000 for dental care.
Already, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and the National Treasury are opposed to the pension bid.
The Treasury argues that the proposed ex-MPs pension would not be sustainable due to the country’s strained budget.
With the bill having sailed through the floor of the house, the former lawmakers are now at the Mercy of President Uhuru Kenyatta who will have the final say — assent or reject it altogether.
The lawmakers’ heavy perks demand has been a subject of discussion on various platforms for years now with Kenyans labelling the legislators “Mpigs” due to their frequent demands.
But the name-calling has not stopped parliamentarians from demanding for more. Below I break down what the MPs already earn.
On July 11, 2019, the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) issued a statement accusing the media of inaccurate reporting of remuneration of MPs.
Speaker Justin Muturi, who chairs the commission, stated that an MP is entitled to a salary of Ksh532,500.
This writer understands that the 2013 legal notice sets out a starting salary of Ksh532,500 for majority and minority leaders, committee chairs, members of the Speaker’s panel, whips and the rest of the MPs.
The lawmakers then get a pay rise of Ksh44,375 a year, so that by the fifth year an MP would earn a basic salary Ksh710,000.
Since the last general election was conducted in 2017, 2020 is the third year since the poll. This then means that the basic pay of a Kenyan MP now stands at KSh621,250.
Ksh621,250 is what the MPs are earning in 2020.
The parliamentarians are also entitled to a medical scheme of Ksh10 million for the inpatient cover per family, Ksh300,000 for the outpatient cover, Ksh150,000 for maternity and Ksh75,000 for dental care as earlier stated.
Lifetime pension for a Kenyan Mp ranges between Ksh100,000 – 125,000 per month.
The MPs are also entitled to a mortgage loan and car loan. The mortgage facility stands at Ksh40 million on the higher side for speakers of the Senate and National Assembly.
In 2013, the parliamentarians struck a deal with SRC to take a pay cut in exchange for tax-free car grant, pension and other allowances.
The deal saw MPs get a Ksh5 million tax-free car grant instead of the Ksh7 million shilling loan that was originally proposed by the commission.
Besides the car grant, the parliamentarians are also entitled to mileage allowance. A recent claim report showed that some MPs are demanding over Ksh20 million in mileage allowances from the government every year.
This means such MPs used at least Ksh1.6 million every month for transport, an amount that is above their salaries.
The MP who receives the highest mileage allowance is Bomet Woman representative Joyce Chepkoech Korir, who gets at least Ksh43.6 million every year.
Also on the list is Mandera North MP Abdullah Bashir Sheikh, who received Ksh23.5 million in 2019, similar to the amount he received in 2018.
Besides the mileage allowance, the lawmakers enjoy monthly car maintenance allowance of Ksh356,525.
The parliamentarians also pocket Ksh11.6 million in send-off package.
Other allowances include airtime, travel and notably, allowances for sitting in committees.