Budget 2017: What to expect

Budget 2017: What to expect
Treasury CS Henry Rotich carries a briefcase containing the Government Budget for the 2013/14 fiscal year [Photo: Courtesy]

Kenyans will be eagerly anticipating to find out what’s in store for them in the 2017/2018 financial year as Treasury Cabinet Secretary presents his spending plans.

At Sh2.6 trillion, this is Kenya’s largest budget yet with initial estimates indicating the government would like to spur economic growth.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will have the herculean task of raising Sh1.7 trillion to support the government’s agenda, leaving a budget deficit of Sh900 billion.

While KRA has improved its revenue collection over the years, collecting Sh1.2 trillion in the last financial year, it’s yet to meet the rather high targets set by the treasury.

In the 2017/2018 financial year KRA will have to collect Sh500 billion more in a year the Treasury has indicated it is unlikely to raise taxes.

“We are not planning to raise income taxes. If you will listen to the budget reading next week, there will be no proposal in raising income taxes,” Treasury Principal Secretary Dr Kamau Thugge said last week.

But while treasury has often spared Kenyans directly, its what is contained in the Finance Bill 2017 that will show how value added tax and excise duty adjustments will benefit or burden the mwananchi.

Mr Rotich will be expected to enumerate how he intends to plug the budget hole, with many Kenyans concerned that increased borrowing could burden them more.

But President Kenyatta and treasury mandarins have repeatedly stressed that Kenya’s borrowing plans support development, adding that there was no cause for concern.

The government plans to borrow an estimated Sh450 billion to ensure the next budget is fully financed.

 -Program based allocations-

The government has allocated Sh640 billion to finance development projects.

The Jubilee administration under President Uhuru Kenyatta has made development one of their anchor agenda’s.

The energy sector is set to receive Sh35 billion that will go towards oil and gas exploration and geothermal development.

The free primary and day secondary education program will receive Sh47 billion in the next financial year while Sh10 billion will be allocated to the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).

The free maternity program, which has been a pet project for first lady Margret Kenyatta will receive Sh4billion while another Sh1.3 billion will be used to roll out the universal healthcare coverage.

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