Government’s move to double budget worry legislators

The government of Kenya has increased her budget to more than double in jubilee’s ambitious agendas sparking anxiety among parliamentarians.

The legislators are alarmed by Government’s ambitious budget that hit Sh3 trillion in the 2018/19 financial year, having steadily grown from Sh1.2 trillion in 2013.

Parliament has now given Treasury a seemingly impossible target of capping the budget at Sh2 trillion over the next four years.

This comes after the Controller of Budget reported that more than Sh1.4 trillion – half of Kenya’s budget – would be used to service debt.

MPs also want to have a direct say on how much the Government borrows in a bid to tame the country’s appetite for loans.

A large part of the budget is financed through debt.

In a report tabled in Parliament yesterday, the Budget and Appropriations Committee recommended that Treasury pursues a smaller but more realistic budget.

The recommendations are expected to see the country live largely within its means and only borrow minimally.

The latest push is meant to tame the runaway deficit that has been costing the Exchequer dearly and pushed up total debt to Sh5.2 trillion. Efforts to put in place austerity measures have not borne much fruit.

The MPs now want Treasury to trim the budget for the next financial year by 22 per cent to Sh2.06 trillion, from earlier estimates of Sh2.6 trillion.

Treasury should further cap Government’s spending at Sh2 trillion for the next three financial years up to 2022/23, a move likely to result in significant reduction in funding for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four projects.

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