12 June 2014

Kenya: Thumbs Up for Budget, but Why No Price Cuts?

Nairobi — Kenyans have expressed varied reactions to the 2014-15 Budget read by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Thursday afternoon.

Members of Parliament who spoke to Capital FM New said they were satisfied with the spending and proposed tax measures, and urged Rotich to implement the measures accordingly.

"If the things captured in the budget can be achieved, it will change this country. My main worry is the implementation of this budget; in the last financial year there were so many issues put in the budget but we did not see implementation of some," said Elijah Lagat, MP for Chesumei.

"The funds and resources allocated to fight insecurity were notable... the other key area is making sure that this country becomes self sufficient in food security. A good amount of money has been set aside for that... even in infrastructure, it's a balanced budget and it's going to take us far as a country," said Peter Kinyua MP, Mathira Constituency.

He pointed out that that local and foreign borrowing are balanced.

Nairobi residents who spoke to Capital FM News were content that no cost of food items were increased, but would have wanted to see the cost of basic commodities go down.

"I was expecting some of the basic commodities to increase. The cost of living is already unbearable; however I'm glad that nothing has gone up," Michael Mwaura told Capital FM News.

"We needed to hear commodities like unga (maize meal) prices go down, that's what is affecting us right now. I'm glad that alcohol was not targeted like is always the case," another Nairobi resident told Capital FM News.

Rotich says that the budget is keen on increasing the supply of food in bid to stabilize the prices.

"What is important is increasing the supply of food so it becomes cheaper and the policies put in place will increase production," he stated.

Key allocations aimed at easing the cost of living include the Sh9.5 billion set aside for ongoing irrigation project countrywide and Sh3 billion for inputs subsidy including fertilizer.

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