The mood in the country right now is perhaps that of mixed public expectation as Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani prepares to present government’s expenditure plan for the financial year starting July to the National Assembly.
ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi is expressing concerned that the Kshs. 3.6 trillion budget will be hard to actualize based on present economic conditions. According to Mudavadi, there is a high likelihood the country will dive into deeper debt should parliament adopt Yatani’s proposals.
“The indication is that he (Yatani) will lead us to more loans and debts. I think this budget will bring additional tax burden to the ordinary citizen.” Mudavadi said ahead of budget reading Thursday afternoon.
Mudavadi, a former Finance Minister, is worried that the revenue to be accrued through taxes will be a drop in the ocean given that a large number of Kenyans have lost their jobs, while many businesses have closed down in the last one year owing to covid-19 pandemic.
“I don’t know where money to finance this budget will come from.” Mudavadi remarked
Mudavadi says the pandemic has massively impacted the investments to the country especially given that Kenya’s international partners have also been pushed to the edge by the current global health crisis. As a result, he says seeking financial assistance from them may not be tenable.
“CS Ukur Yatani has a very difficult task because he has indicated that his budget is Kshs. 3.6T but if you look at the pattern of tax collection, he can only realize Kshs. 1.7T. He even recently indicated he will revise it because Covid-19 has really hit us.” Mudavadi said
“Most of the monies earned by Kenyans will go to the taxman. Kenyans will tighten their belts more because they still have to feed children and pay their school fees,” The ANC leader added
The former Deputy Prime Minister says the government must device ways of first reducing the level of foreign debt, cut unnecessary expenditure as well as reduce taxes in a bid to especially bring down the cost of living which he says has been on an upward trajectory.
“Our economy should be able to benefit every Kenyan and not just a few,” he said