Retirements help cut City Hall’s budget by Sh1.6bn
The retirement of over 1,000 workers and transfer of trainee doctors’ payroll to the national government have helped City Hall cut its next financial year’s wage bill by Sh1.6 billion.
The county will spend Sh11.6 billion on wages (excluding the County Assembly’s) in 2015/16, down from Sh13.2 billion in the current financial year, a draft budget released on Monday shows.
The proposed budget shows that a large portion of the freed-up money will be used to offset the county’s outstanding debts with creditors set to receive Sh1.54 billion compared to the current year’s budget of Sh600 million.
“We have been having over 14,000 workers but over 1,000 have retired leaving us with about 12,960 which has eased the wage bill,” said Finance Executive Gregory Mwakanongo.
“We also had registrars at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in our budget but (they) have gone. The figure was about Sh1 billion.”
WAGE BILL DROPPED
The draft budget shows that the health department’s wage bill has dropped from Sh4.4 to Sh3.4 billion.
In January, Treasury made a Sh1.2 billion request to Parliament on behalf of the Health ministry to pay salaries of interns and doctors pursuing post-graduate studies at KNH.
This came after Governor Evans Kidero refused to pay the doctors even after they went on strike. He maintained that paying them was not a county function.
The retirement of nearly 4,000 workers aged over 51 will help reduce City Hall’s bloated workforce. Only 263 workers are below 30.
The county expects to collect Sh15.5 billion in the year beginning July, a downward revision of Sh2.2 billion from the current year’s Sh17.7 billion.
The revision is seen as aligning the county’s projections to reality as it has previously set targets that weremissed by huge margins.
In 2013/14, for example, the county projected that it would raise Sh16 billion but collected only Sh10 billion. Parking fees and rates are expected to net the county Sh3.2 billion and Sh3 billion respectively.
The county expects to receive Sh13.3 billion from the central government for a total revenue basket of Sh28.9 billion.
Development spending has stagnated at Sh9 billion with the bulk of the money planned to be spent on roads maintenance and other public works.
The draft budget did not make any provisions for the ward development fund which has caused some friction between Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) and the Executive.
Although the fund was budgeted for in the current year, it never took off due to legal challenges from the Controller of Budget and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution.