Kenyan president and cabinet to take pay cut

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Kenyatta says the government wage bill is “unsustainable”

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that he and his cabinet will take a pay cut to help bring down the government’s wage bill.

President Kenyatta said that he and his deputy William Ruto would take a 20% cut while other ministers would have their pay reduced by 10%.

Foreign trips, he said, would be kept to a minimum.

Mr Kenyatta also urged Kenyan MPs, who are among the highest paid in Africa, to accept cuts.

Correspondents say the issue of politicians’ pay is a highly sensitive issue in Kenya.

Mr Kenyatta said the government was spending close to $4.6bn (£2.7bn) in salaries, leaving only $2.3bn for development.

“We need to deal with this monster if we are to develop this nation otherwise sooner or later we will become a nation that only collects taxes to pay ourselves,” President Kenyatta said.

He was speaking at the end of a cabinet retreat near Mount Kenya that was reviewing progress made one year since he was elected.

Mr Kenyatta announced a month after his election that he would make reducing Kenya’s ballooning public sector wage bill a priority.

He said it was “unsustainable” and weighed on the national budget.

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