Kenyan president and cabinet to take pay cut

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta President Kenyatta says the government wage bill is "unsustainable"

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced that he and his cabinet will take a pay cut to help bring down the government's wage bill.

President Kenyatta said that he and his deputy William Ruto would take a 20% cut while other ministers would have their pay reduced by 10%.

Foreign trips, he said, would be kept to a minimum.

Mr Kenyatta also urged Kenyan MPs, who are among the highest paid in Africa, to accept cuts.

Correspondents say the issue of politicians' pay is a highly sensitive issue in Kenya.

Mr Kenyatta said the government was spending close to $4.6bn (£2.7bn) in salaries, leaving only $2.3bn for development.

"We need to deal with this monster if we are to develop this nation otherwise sooner or later we will become a nation that only collects taxes to pay ourselves," President Kenyatta said.

He was speaking at the end of a cabinet retreat near Mount Kenya that was reviewing progress made one year since he was elected.

Mr Kenyatta announced a month after his election that he would make reducing Kenya's ballooning public sector wage bill a priority.

He said it was "unsustainable" and weighed on the national budget.

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