Pay demands unrealistic

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has taken a bold step in rejecting the demand for higher salaries by county ministers, also known as county executive committee members.

Coming against the backdrop of the cash crunch that has hit the national government — and the high price that wananchi are paying for the government’s appetite for money — the timing of the demand for an extra Sh1.1 billion flies in the face of public interest.

It only serves to entrench the view that public and State officers are more interested in self-advancement than serving the public.

The members had argued that their jobs were risky and, as such, their pay should be increased from Sh300,000 to Sh500,000 each.

This would have amounted to about a 65 per cent increase in their pay, which is high even by private sector standards.

The demand also comes at a time when Kenyans are engaged in a debate about how to reduce the public wage bill and instil greater financial discipline in the government and the counties.

Given such demands, Kenyans should debate whether it is not prudent for candidates being offered key positions of responsibility to be required to sign five-year contracts before being appointed.