In Summary
  • They said employment should focus only on essential services like security, health and education.

  • The government spends nearly half of the money it collects as taxes on civil servants’ pay.

  • Another measure would be for the government to reduce its planned expenditure and only increase to allow for inflation, the report said.

A proposal to freeze employment of civil servants in a bid to keep the budget in check is set for debate in Parliament.

Parliament’s experts on economic policy and budgeting, who made the proposal, said this will make the budget manageable and realistic.

In a report prepared for MPs before the start of the budgeting cycle in Parliament, they said employment should focus only on essential services like security, health and education.

“The public wage bill has grown significantly over the past years; a freeze in employment and allowing natural attrition to take place will slow down the wage growth,” said the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO).

REDUCE SPENDING

The experts said freezing employment will reduce government spending and ensure focus was on other activities that contributed to economic growth.

The government spends nearly half of the money it collects as taxes on civil servants’ pay, according to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

The amount has increased from Sh464.9 billion in 2012/13 financial year to Sh675.8 billion in the 2016/17 financial year.

The freeze was among measures proposed by the office to reduce the budget deficit – the difference between what the government plans to spend and what it realistically thinks it can get in the form of revenue.

INFLATION

Another measure would be for the government to reduce its planned expenditure and only increase to allow for inflation, the report said.

“The 2018/19 budget should not exceed Sh2.2 trillion – 2017/18 budget excluding one-off payments. All government expenditure must be reorganised to fit this plan,” said PBO, adding that if this was done, the government could save Sh200 billion.

In its draft Budget Policy Statement, the Treasury said it intended to spend Sh2 trillion in the coming financial year.

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