Good news to workers as gov’t raises minimum wage by 18%
The government has announced a minimum wage increment of 18 per cent for workers in a move calculated to caution low-income earners against the ravages of skyrocketing cost of living occasioned by high inflation rate that now stands at 11.48 percent.
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the good news to Kenyan workers during Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Park, Nairobi although he failed to meet the labour organisations’ demand of 22 per cent.
“We understand your daily struggles too and are working hard to tackle these challenges. We know that for two straight years, we have not increased the minimum wage. So, after consultation with key stakeholders, I have directed that the minimum wage be increased by 18 percent,” said President Kenyatta.
The new increment brings monthly income of lowly paid workers to Ksh 14, 600.
This income will, however, attracted tax at the rate of 10 per cent per month which translates to Ksh 1, 460.
This will leave this category of earners with Ksh 13, 140 in their pockets.
Additionally, the government exempted from tax income bonuses up to Ksh 100, 000.
The Kenya Federation of Employers (FKE), on the other hand, insists that the government ought to lower prices of basic commodities in order to better caution citizens from high cost of living.
“We understand the plight of workers and the pressure that comes with the increase. The cost of living is hard but we recommend the government to reduce the prices of other commodities such as milk,” said FKE Executive Director, Jacqueline Mugo.
But, the government insists it also has the interest of the manufactures at heart. Thus, the president said that they will meet with the Industrialization Cabinet Secretary to explore other non-labour factors of protecting consumers.
Deputy President William Ruto said that the government also to create more employment opportunities for the youth.