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BUDGET: Eyes on treasury’s proposals amid rising cost of living

National Treasury and Economic Planning Prof. Njuguna Ndung'u. PHOTO | File

A spike in the cost of food items, rent, water, electricity, gas, and transport continues to exacerbate the cost of living.

The latest data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that year-on-year inflation has risen to 8pc in May, from 7.9pc in April.

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Ahead of the budget presentation, how is Wanjiku surviving the harsh economic times?

In the latest report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, prices of commodities under Food and Non- alcoholic Beverages rose by 10.2pc and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other fuels by 9.7pc, and while the Transport index rose by 10.1pc between May 2022 and May 2023.

Meaning a one kilogram of sugar that was retailing at Ksh 130 in May 2022, is now costing an average of Ksh 194 in May 2023, while a 2KG packet has gone up to Ksh 548 from Ksh 466 in May the preceding year.

Owing to this, some households are adapting to the high cost of living by among others skipping meals.

Other than meals, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ Index, increased by 0.7pc between April 2023 and May 2023 due to an increase in prices of kerosene by 10.2pc over the period in review while the Transport Index went up by 1.2pc.

Amid all this, the public is apprehensive of the proposed finance bill 2023 that in among others fronts a three percent housing levy and an increase of 8 percent on VAT for petroleum products, saying it will make the cost of living unbearable.

Social media influencers have not been left untouched too, with the proposed bill seeking to introduce a withholding tax of 15pc on digital monetization.

Marketing campaigners who earn Ksh 24,000 and above will be subjected to a 5pc withholding tax should the National Assembly approve the proposals.

The Proposed finance bill is expected to generate revenue of Ksh 289.3 billion and stimulate the country’s economic growth by an estimated 6.pc. However, will it cushion Kenyans from the high cost of living?

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