Cabinet Secretary Henry and his team leave the National Treasury for Parliament Buildings to unveil the Budget on March 30, 2017. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP.
Henry Rotich unveils Kenya’s Sh2.6 trillion Budget
The National Treasury has unveiled the fifth and last Budget for President Kenyatta’s first term in office.
Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Thursday presented the 2017/2018 Budget Statement to both Houses of Parliament in Nairobi.
The government said it would spend Sh2.6 trillion, the largest ever spending plan in Kenya’s history, that will be financed using taxes and borrowing.
The Jubilee administration plans to implement the mega budget using Sh1.7 trillion from taxes and Sh900 billion from loans and grants.
- The government raised its revenue collection by Sh500 billion from Sh1 trillion in 2013 to 1.5 trillion in 2016.
- Counties to receive a total of 329.1 billion in 2017/2018 against the Sh288 billion they got in the 2015/2016 financial year. The increase follows a spirited campaign by governors.
- Some 2.3 million new jobs have been created since 2013, with 815,000 jobs created in 2016.
- Some Sh8.1 billion allocated to Kenya Police Service to buy more vehicles to facilitate officers’ mobility as they fight crime, which, the minister said, has fallen significantly over the last five years.
- Harmonisation of salaries and allowances for public servants, including those of teachers and doctors, to start in July, with Sh20 billion set aside for that purpose.
- Government recruitment frozen in a bid to address the public wage bill crisis, except for crucial sectors such as education, where Sh2 billion has been set aside to hire teachers in primary and secondary schools.
- The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gets an additional Sh21.4 billion on top of their yearly allocation to prepare for and conduct the August General Election as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission gets Sh4 billion to fight graft.
- Some Sh75.6 billion allocated for the completion of the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway and laying the ground for the construction of Phase II.
- In a bid to boost food production and fight hunger, Sh4.1 billion will be used to provide cheap fertiliser as Sh700 million is channelled toward insurance schemes for farmers.
- In education, Sh4 billion has been set aside to waive exam fees for Standard Eight and Form Four candidates in a bid to boost school completion and transition rates, Sh4 billion for free primary education, Sh33 billion for free secondary education, Sh2.5 billion for school feeding programme
- Additionally, Sh2 billion has been allocated for recruiting new teachers, Sh600 million for technical and vocational institutions, Sh500 million for free sanitary towels for schoolgirls from humble backgrounds, Sh88.3 billion for university education and Sh10.1 billion for the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb).
- In the health sector, Sh4.3 billion has been allocated to provide free maternity services, Sh9.6 to Kenyatta National Hospital, Sh6.2 billion to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret and Sh3.9 billion to the Kenya Medical Training Institute.
- Low income earners are among the biggest winners in the 2017 Budget as Mr Rotich expands tax brackets to exempt from tax workers who earn less than Sh13,500 a month.
- Mr Rotich imposes a 50 per cent tax on all betting and related activities from the current 15 per cent; proceeds to go to the newly created national sports and arts fund.
- The National Treasury says ordinary maize and wheat flour, and bread will be exempt from tax as it steps up the sin tax on expensive spirits from Sh150 to Sh200 per litre. Usually, the statement is read at the same time as those of other East African Community members states in June every year.
- The Kenyan Budget was read three months earlier to provide funds that will be used to conduct the August General Election.