Kenyan MPs 'agree to lower salaries'

A protester displays a modified Kenyan bank note imprinted with an image of a pig in Nairobi during 11 June 2013 Protesters have accused Kenyan MPs of being greedy

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Kenya's MPs have agreed to drop their annual salary by $45,000 ($28,700) to $75,000 following a public outcry, a government-appointed body has said.

The MPs would receive a car allowance of around $58,000, for agreeing to the cut, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) said.

On Tuesday, protesters in the capital, Nairobi, denounced MPs as "MPigs".

MPs voted for a $120,000 annual salary in May, in defiance of the wishes of the SRC and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

'Trade-off'

They argued they deserved the amount because they worked hard and gave financial help to their constituents.

But their decision sparked national outrage as the MPs are among the highest paid in the world and the average income in Kenya is around $1,800 a year.

MPs agreed to the pay cut of nearly 40% in "fruitful" talks held with them, the SRC said.

The 416 MPs would receive a one-off car grant of around $58,000, as it was a "more viable option" than giving each of them a chauffeur-driven car, the SRC added, AFP news agency reports.

The MPs would also receive hefty pension benefits, it reports.

MPs in the previous parliament awarded themselves a $107,000 retirement bonus in one of the last sessions before the election.

The package also provided them with an armed guard, a diplomatic passport and access to airport VIP lounges.

Kenya held presidential and parliamentary elections in March.

The SRC and the president can only recommend how much MPs should earn - they cannot take a decision.

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