Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has made public his plans to cut public servants’ wages in order to free up money to fund the country’s economic development.

“My government is convinced the recent growth in public sector wage bill is unsustainable and unacceptable,” President Kenyatta said during the launch of the national debate on the Public Wage Bill Sustainability.

“It is nice to receive ever larger slices of our national cake.  But collectively, as a country, we have other priorities: we must fund our pledges to the various capital investments laid out in the current 2030 Medium Term Plan and the Jubilee Manifesto.”

Kenya’s wage bill has been rising significantly despite a healthy GDP growth forecast of about 5%.

Its sustainability has become far above the average of other East African nations, and Asian countries such as South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.

The additional employment of 58,700 public servants, including police, nurses and teachers between 2008 and 2012, has also added to the ratcheting of the public wage bill.