LAWMAKERS have given mixed reactions to the government's funding priorities for this year's Sh1.7 trillion budget.
Cord MPs said the budget is "overambitious". They said interest rates are likely to increase. Their Jubilee counterparts said the budget is in line with the government's manifesto. National Assembly Majority Leader Adan Duale said the government adopted a policy to take care of vulnerable members of the society.
His response is based on the Sh4.6 billion set aside for the vulnerable households; Sh4.9 billion for disabled and Sh2 billion for affirmative action. "It is upon the organisation that deals with oversight--Parliament to ensure it changes the lives of the common people. We have seen more money allocated to critical institutions like the Auditor General, the department of prosecution, the Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission and the Controller of Budget," Duale said yesterday after Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich presented the budget. Minority Leader Francis Nyenze said the budget may increase interest rates in the country to bridge the huge gap.
"I wonder where they will get the extra funds on top of the Sh1.2 billion that can be raised locally in taxes. If the Euro Bond fails then it means the overtaxed Kenyans should brace for difficult moments as they prepare to compete with the government in domestic borrowing," Nyenze said. Suba MP John Mbadi said the projections made by Rotich are "unrealistic".
"In terms of capital expenditure, it may not be realistic because the financing is based on projected economic growth. More than Sh190 billion has been earmarked for borrowing from the domestic market compared to the Sh133 billion borrowed in the last ending financial year," he said.