Despite frequent pledges by the government about austerity measures being rolled out in the public sector to rein in spending, salaries and allowances for the first quarter jumped by 11 percent.
Data from the Controller of Budget shows that in the three months to September, allocations for salaries and allowances in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) rose to Sh98.8 billion. This is a Sh10 billion increase compared to the previous financial year.
This was an increase from the Sh88.7 billion that was spent by the 73 MDAs in a similar period in the 2018/19 financial year.
The expenditure includes basic salaries for permanent employees, wages for temporary staff, personal allowances paid as part of salaries and employee contributions to compulsory national social security schemes.
While we support the government’s efforts for tight spending by public officials, the increase is bound to thwart its efforts to curtail reckless expenditure by officials.
It seems that despite constant promises by the government aimed at reducing haphazard spending, some officials are still bent on dipping their hands farther into the taxpayers’ trough.
The rise in expenditure on salaries and allowances now shines the spotlight on the push for austerity measures that target non-core spending.
According to the Controller of Budget, the total expenditure under personnel emoluments was Sh98.8 billion.
We cannot stress the need for public officials to practice what they preach.
By reining in reckless spending by its workers, the government would be able to cut down on aimless budgets and solely focus on critical programmes that will benefit the majority of Kenyans.
The Kenyan economy has been faced by many challenges with many firms laying off workers or freezing employment.
If the government wants Kenyans to take its promises seriously, it must begin by cutting down on expenditure that does not help the common man or woman at the grassroots.
The government should work hard to stimulate investor confidence so as to spur economic growth.