In this week’s edition of Money Weekly, we delve into the top money stories making waves across various sectors of the Kenyan economy.
From a pay boom for civil servants, to employers opposing housing levy and warning of job cuts should it be implemented, to the end in Kerosene and Diesel subsidies, and for the 2022 candidates, KUCCPS portal is open!
We bring you up to speed with the most significant developments as we do every Thursday,with the top news that could have an impact on your money.
The Treasury has budgeted Ksh17.7 billion to cater for an increase in salaries for civil servants in the new fiscal year 2023-2024, which begins on July 1.
Treasury Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo, informed Parliament that the funds had been accounted for in the 2023-24 estimates as a result of job evaluation recommendations from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
According to documents provided to the National Assembly’s Finance and National Planning committee, which is led by Molo MP Kuria Kimani, the Treasury allocated an extra Ksh17.7 billion to the SRC.
The funds will be used to complete any pending job assessments.
The parameters of the wage increase for civil servants are still being worked out between Treasury and SRC. If a deal is struck, the funds will be distributed to the various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
If this is implemented, it will end a two-year moratorium on salary reviews for civil servants. The increase follows a liquidity crisis that hit the government, resulting in a March salary delay. The government is also dealing with pressure to control a ballooning public wage bill and significant debt repayment obligations.
To compensate for the challenging economic conditions that caused the country's inflation to reach 9.2% from February to April, an estimated 954,900 civil servants have requested salary increases.
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Following the commencement of the placement process yesterday, May 17, 869,782 candidates who sat for the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) are now eligible to apply for placement into universities and colleges.
The initiative was launched at the University of Nairobi by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, who announced that students can now access information about various courses at 205 public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) colleges, 33 private universities, teachers training colleges, and 39 public universities.
The student's placement will be determined by their choice and their KCSE grades. There are degree, diploma, craft certificate, and artisan courses available.
According to Mr. Machogu, government scholarships will only be awarded to students who enroll at public universities under the new university and Tvet Institute funding model. Private institutions will only be eligible for student loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).
Students should apply for scholarships from the Universities Fund (UF) after registering for their selected courses, followed by loans from HELB.
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The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has warned that if the housing levy, is passed, thousands of Kenyans might lose their jobs.
The planned 3% deduction from employee pay, which would be matched by employers and go into the Housing Fund charge, was received with significant opposition from the federation.
According to FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo, the idea is unworkable because most firms are already dealing with high operational expenses that are growing due to rising fuel costs.
On Tuesday, May 16, at the opening of the fourth edition of the Employer of the Year Awards, Jacqueline Mugo proposed making the deduction voluntary to give companies time to recover from the impact of COVID-19 and the 2022 General Election.
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Kenyans woke up to a significant increase in fuel prices on Monday, 15 May, after the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) delayed notice until minutes before Sunday midnight.
Low-income households who use kerosene for lighting and cooking are the most affected by the recent adjustments.
A litre of kerosene now costs Ksh15.19 extra, with super petrol increasing by Ksh3.40 a litre and diesel, increasing by Ksh6.40.
In Nairobi, the price of a litre of petrol has moved from Ksh179.30 to Ksh182.70, diesel has risen from Ksh162 to Ksh168.40 and kerosene has increased from Ksh145.94 to Ksh161.13.
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Kenya will launch its first locally built smartphones in the next two months as part of the government's aim to increase the number of internet-enabled mobile phones in the country.
According to ICT Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eliud Owalo, the exorbitant cost of the devices has impeded digital inclusion.
“We are alive to the question of the affordability of ICT devices as a potential hindrance to the ability of citizens to exploit the full potential that this sector presents,” Owalo said during the official launch of the Information Communication and Technology week at the Nairobi Safari Park on Wednesday, May 17.
The gadgets, which are assembled in the Konza Technopolis in Malili, Machakos County, will cost Ksh5,488 ($40), which is is reasonable when compared to other well-known brands .
“Based on feasibility studies undertaken, we can locally assemble smartphones at a unit cost of about $40. We’ve partnered with the private sector to ensure in the next two months, we can roll out our first consignment of low-cost smartphones,” he added.
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