MPS U TURN ON PERKS HIKE BID

House ac­cuses the me­dia of wag­ing a cam­paign to por­tray them as a greedy lot

Business Daily (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - Ed­win Mu­tai emu­[email protected]­tion­media.com

MPs shelved the pas­sage of a Bill that seeks to en­trench their hefty perks in law a day after Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta threat­ened to re­ject it.

MPS shelved the pas­sage of a Bill that seeks to en­trench their hefty perks in law a day after Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta threat­ened to re­ject it.

The Par­lia­men­tary Ser­vice Bill 2018, which is await­ing con­sid­er­a­tion in the com­mit­tee stage was not listed in the Or­der Pa­per as one of the busi­ness to be trans­acted be­fore MPS took a two month Christ­mas re­cess.

Pres­i­dent Keny­atta on Wed­nes­day vowed to re­ject the pro­posed Par­lia­men­tary Ser­vice Com­mis­sion Bill, 2018, in which MPS are seek­ing to en­hance their perks which in­clude house al­lowances, car loans and an en­hanced in­sur­ance cover.

Mr Keny­atta, who spoke at Ndumberi Sta­dium in Ki­ambu, said Kenyans are tired and an­gry with law­mak­ers who keep in­creas­ing their earn­ings at their ex­pense.

He promised not to ap­prove the Bill, re­gard­less of whether it would cost him the good­will of the Na­tional Assem­bly.

The Bill seeks to give power to the Par­lia­men­tary Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (PSC), the MPS em­ployer, to han­dle the law­mak­ers' wel­fare, in­clud­ing re­view­ing their ben­e­fits.

The Jus­tice and Le­gal Af­fairs Com­mit­tee chaired by Baringo North MP Wil­liam Chep­tumo, in a re­port to the House, pro­posed amend­ments that if passed would hand all the 416 MPS in the Na­tional Assem­bly and Se­nate a house al­lowance, a ve­hi­cle fu­elled and main­tained by the tax­payer and a car loan.

The com­mit­tee has also rec­om­mended an en­hanced med­i­cal cover for MPS and bud­getary al­lo­ca­tion for each of the 290 con­stituen­cies for mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion of na­tional gov­ern­ment projects, as well as pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in par­lia­men­tary af­fairs.

The PSC pro­vides MPS with a med­i­cal scheme of Sh10 mil­lion for in­pa­tient cover per fam­ily, Sh300,000 for out­pa­tient, Sh150,000 for ma­ter­nity and Sh75,000 for den­tal care.

The MPS are also en­ti­tled to a Sh7 mil­lion car grant and a mort­gage fa­cil­ity of Sh20 mil­lion that is re­payable at the end of their five-year term.

On Tues­day, MPS ganged up and ac­cused par­lia­men­tary re­porters of wag­ing a cam­paign to ma­lign them and por­tray Par­lia­ment as a House of greed.

Ma­jor­ity and Mi­nor­ity party lead­er­ship led an on­slaught against the me­dia for re­port­ing that MPS plan to in­tro­duce amend­ments to the Bill at the third and fi­nal stage.

“The salaries of MPS are not set by the Par­lia­men­tary Ser­vice Com­mis­sion but the Salaries and Re­mu­ner­a­tion Com­mis­sion.

“It is un­for­tu­nate that the me­dia has suc­ceeded to mis­in­form Kenyans in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta and for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Raila Odinga on the con­tents of this Bill. Nowhere in the Bill talks about MPS salaries, house al­lowances or mileage,” Ma­jor­ity Leader Aden Duale said after Mi­nor­ity Leader Junet Mo­hamed in­ter­rupted House busi­ness to draw the at­ten­tion of Speaker Justin Mu­turi to the "mis­lead­ing me­dia re­ports".

Ma­jor­ity and Mi­nor­ity party lead­er­ship led an on­slaught against the me­dia over bid to amend Bill

--FILE

Par­lia­ment de­bates the two-thirds gen­der rule Bill on Novem­ber 21.

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