Members of County Assembly (MCAs) sitting allowance for the nine months to March more than doubled to Sh1.54 billion after the High Court scrapped the Salaries and Remuneration Commission’s (SRC) cut on State officers’ benefits.
The latest Controller of Budget (CoB) report shows the perks rose 131 percent — the highest jump since the onset of Devolution in 2013 — from the Sh670 million the 2,247 MCAs earned in similar period a year earlier.
The SRC in July 2017 abolished MCAs’ mileage reimbursements, sitting allowances for plenary sessions and special responsibility perks.
But the High Court last year reinstated the benefits, forcing the SRC to return the cap on sitting allowances to Sh124, 800 monthly from Sh80,000.
On average, an MCA’s sitting allowance for the nine months to March rose to Sh76,955 from the mean of Sh33,136 they earned in a similar period when the SRC pay limits were in force.
The allowances had been on a steady upward trajectory since the representatives took office in May 2013, causing concern that the perks were consuming county government revenues with minimal corresponding impact on public service.
In the nine months to March 2015, the ward representatives earned Sh2 billion in sitting perks.
High Court judge George Odunga delivered a judgment that quashed a gazette notice that the SRC used to cut each MCAs’ allowances to a maximum of Sh80,000 per month.