Why the Jubilee government is lying: Raila
29 September 2015, 14:40
Nairobi - The Jubilee government is lying about missing funds to pay teachers, CORD leader Raila Odinga says.
The government has said that there is no money to pay teachers a 50/60% payrise handed to them by the Labour Courts and rubber-stamped by the Supreme Court.
Raila though, says that the assertion by the government is false.
He says that there is evidence to prove that there is indeed money in the economy.
" Teachers have demanded a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. The Supreme Court agreed that they deserve it. President Uhuru Kenyatta responded with can’t pay, won’t pay. Then on Friday, the Employment and Labour Relations Court directed the two teachers unions to suspend the strike and resume teaching. The government immediately announced schools would reopen on Monday. Suddenly, court rulings are sacred to the Jubilee administration. Therein lies the crisis we have been warning about.
" When I addressed the solidarity rally at Uhuru Park last Wednesday, I said the times demand that we speak candidly and decisively, truthfully and frankly, honestly and boldly.
" We have a crisis when a government chooses when to obey and when to disobey the courts. Disregard for the law, coupled with governance through deliberate distortions are manifestations of failed leadership.
" I still maintain that President Uhuru Kenyatta has been lying to Kenyans and, lately, about our wage bill. The President has been dishonest in his refusal to pay teachers. We are watching to see how he deals with his own dishonesty and selective application of the law now that the courts have asked teachers to abandon the strike.
" By what authority will the President now ask teachers to respect the Friday court ruling having disobeyed the ruling by the Supreme Court himself? Certain core principles remain central to the success of any nation. Honesty and the right conduct at every level of society, including government are critical. Belief in doing what is right no matter the cost is key to creating a moral and caring nation. It is what makes a leader take action that puts his chances for reelection at risk, but which is right and good for the country. Indulging in lies to lead a nation is a manifestation of a deeper hidden problem. The wage bill monologue is a lie. I have been in government with the current President as my Finance Minister and the two of us know the facts.
" In the 2012/ 2013 financial year, the last year of the Grand Coalition Government, our tax revenue was Sh807 billion. In the last financial year, it was Sh1.16 trillion. It is projected at Sh1.25 trillion this financial year, 2015/2016.
" This year’s revenue budget is Sh443 billion more than that of the last Grand Coalition Government revenue. Yet the Government is telling us that out of a revenue increase of Sh443 (55 per cent) we cannot find Sh17 billion for teachers. And the President expects us to agree with him. The published budget for Government wage bill for the current financial year is Sh329 billion, out of a recurrent budget of Sh987 billion and total budget of Sh1.88 trillion. This works out to 33 per cent of recurrent, 17.5 per cent of total budget and 26 per cent of revenue.
" We can add county governments and parastatals and the figures will still tell a different story from the one Jubilee is hawking. For the year 2015/2016, the 47 county governments plan to spend Sh103 billion on salaries. Parastatals will spend KES 87 billion, giving a total of KES 519 billion for salaries for all public employees in national government, parastatals and county governments.
" The total employment and public wage for calendar year 2014 as published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics are as follows: National Government: KES 85 billion. Teachers: KES 145 billion Counties: KES 62 billion Parastatals: KES 77 billion This adds up to KES 370 billion.
This is only 32 per cent of last year’s revenue. Yet when the President addressed the nation last Sunday, he said our wage bill stood at KES568 billion. Where did he get that figure? How did he arrive at 52 per cent as the percentage of revenue spent on the public wage bill in the year 2014/2015?
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