In his maiden budget, Finance Minister Ngjeru Githae presented what can be termed a pro-poor budget that sought to cushion the disadvantaged while levying taxes on the rich. The 1.45 trillion shilling budget contained social safeguards including proposals to offset medical bills for thousands of Kenyans thought to be held hostage in various hospitals. It also extended safety nets to the poor, the elderly and those in arid and semi arid areas. To offset these costs, landlords, tax exempt state employees and expatriates, will all be targeted in new tax collection measures to be implemented by the Kenya Revenue Authority. But as Henry Githaiga reports, the ministerial statement, which marks a transition to the devolved system of government had a controversial kick off as members of parliament sought to do away with the ceremonial fanfare.