Getting to 35% to unlock more funds for development and service delivery – By Stephen Oinga

“A fiscally sustainable public service wage is key to attaining economic development. It frees resources for economic growth,” said Felix Koskei, Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service.

“A high wage bill crowds out resources, leading to a high fiscal deficit and unsustainable growth,” he said during the Third NWBC.

Kenya faces various challenges, both internal and external, including international conflicts, climate change and rapid technological advancements, all of which impact economic growth.

Despite the economy growing at a rate of 4.8 per cent in 2022, the number of public officers in the country increased from 865,000 in 2019 to 963,000 in 2023, Koskei said, highlighting the unsustainability of this growth and the government’s commitment to achieving a balance between fiscal responsibility and service delivery.

During 2022/2023, Kenya collected about Ksh 2.38 trillion in revenue, with about 7.66 billion dollars spent on the wage bill, according to the National Treasury.

To address this issue, Hon. Koskei announced the government’s plan to adopt innovative practices such as business process outsourcing and the use of digital technology to deliver services and manage human resources more efficiently.

He urged employers, employees and trade unions to be cognisant of the state of the economy, further noting that it was not possible to secure additional salaries. He noted that Kenyans were already paying high taxes who also prefer that their taxes first went to fund projects and initiatives that would turn the economy around.

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