On Thursday 30th March 2017 the Cabinet Secretary for Finance released the 2017/18 budget. The budget is usually read in March but the President announced yesterday that the budget was to be read early in order to avoid having the elections interfere with getting the budget approved.
The government is set to spend Kshs. 2.6 Trillion. The budget is the highest in the country’s history but this time the government does not want to raise taxes instead they will be borrowing money to make up the difference. Taxes will account for Kshs. 1.7 Trillion and 900 billion will be outsourced through loans and grants
Money going to the county governments and salaries for public servants will be increased. Doctors and teachers are to benefit the most as their salaries and allowances are being regularized.
The education sector will also get a big boost. Money has been set aside to hire new teachers for Primary School and Secondary School. The government also wants to waive examination fees for KCPE and KCSE candidates. They want to implement feeding programs for students and free sanitary towels for young girls in need. A substantial amount of money will also go towards the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).
Farmers will also benefit from the budget as 4.1 Billion has been allocated to provide cheap fertilizer and insurance schemes for farmers. Money has been set aside for maternal healthcare which should be free at Kenya National Hospital, Moi Teaching and referral hospital and Kenya Medical Training Institute.
The tax bracket has also been increased to exempt those who earn Kshs. 13,500 and below. Infrastructure is also a big beneficiary where money has been put towards roads and completion of the Standard Gauge Railway and beginning of Phase II.
Major losers are Kenyans favorite things to do now, which is betting and drinking. The tax for betting has increased from 15% to 50% tax. Spirits are also going to become more expensive as the government increases sin tax.
Featured image via The Star.