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MPs Sh250K monthly house allowance illegal – SRC

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has said the Sh250,000 monthly house allowance that MPs awarded themselves is illegal.

SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich, in a statement, said it’s only the commission that can determine salaries and benefits for MPs and other state officers.

The commission faulted the Parliamentary Service Commission for purporting to approve the allowances.

“Article 260 of the Constitution categorises Members of Parliament as State Officers and as such, determination of their remuneration and benefits is the exclusive responsibility of the SRC.

“Payment of any remuneration and benefits, which have not been set or advised by SRC is in violation of the Constitution,” read the statement.

The commission termed the matter as of great public concern and they are reviewing to take appropriate action.

MPs and Senators secretly pocketed nearly Sh1 billion in house allowances despite opposition from the Treasury and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

The allowances, adding up to Sh936 million, comprise a Sh250,000 monthly allowance for each of the 416 members of the two Houses, backdated to August last year when their employer, the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), resolved to pay house allowances over and above their mortgages.

Each MP had pocketed Sh2.25 million in their pay for April, the allowance amount backdated to August 2018.

On Friday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi defended the new allowances, saying lawmakers, just like other state officers, are entitled to such benefits.