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MPs’ quest for hefty perks is not proper

EDITORIAL: MPs’ quest for hefty perks is not proper

It is time our lawmakers stopped being a burden on the Kenyan taxpayers. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Though MPs have shelved the passage of a Bill seeking to entrench their hefty perks in law following the President’s threat to reject it, their latest show of greed did not come as a surprise to Kenyans. Despite being among the world’s best paid legislators, our MPs have frequently exhibited a penchant for ripping off Kenyan taxpayers.The Bill seeks to give powers to the Parliamentary Service Commission to handle lawmakers’ welfare instead of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).We commend the President for cautioning the MPs against their perks quest and urge him to stand firm on their demand for higher pay.It is time MPs realised that they are not above the law. It is only the SRC that can determine their pay.They must also have regard for the majority of Kenya’s poor who are waiting for them to fight for their rights and not pursue their own selfish interests..The legislators should know that Kenyans already that they are a greedy and their attempts to accuse the media of waging a campaign against them are laughable.They had ganged up and accused parliamentary reporters of portraying Parliament as greedy.

Their bone of contention was that the media had reported that they planned to introduce amendments to the Bill at the third and final stage.The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee had in a report to the House proposed amendments that would have seen the 416 MPs in the National Assembly and the Senate receive a house allowance , a vehicle fuelled and maintained by the taxpayers and a car loan.It had also recommended an enhanced medical cover for MPs.The parliamentary Service Commission provides the MPs with a medical scheme of Sh10 million for inpatient cover per family, Sh300,000 for outpatient, Sh150,000 for maternity and Sh75,000 for dental care. They are also entitled to a Sh7 million car grant and mortgage facility of Sh20 million.It is time our lawmakers stopped being a burden on the Kenyan taxpayers. Public funds are not a trough that anyone can dip their hands into at will.

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