Kenya Unveils Sh$26 Billion Budget

A newly-built house. Kenyans have opposed the plan by the government to deduct part of workers’ salaries to fund its housing project.

The Kenya government plans to spend Sh2.7 trillion in the next financial year.

It will also splash more billions on stalled projects, such as dams and failed irrigation projects, even as its budget hole deepens.

The deficit will grow to Sh607.8 billion from Sh559 billion this year, which means that the government will be forced to borrow more to plug the shortage.

Most of the money will go to running of the government after Sh1.7 trillion was set aside for recurrent expenditure, which finances salaries, fuel for cars, stationery and refreshments.

The second biggest cost in the 2019/20 budget is repayment of debts and devolution. Treasury plans to spend Sh551 billion in interest payments for loans and pension. This is Sh61 billion more than the Sh490 billion this year.

Salaries and wages will take Sh470 billion in the new budget, up from the Sh425 billion the government is spending in 2018/19.

In the current financial year, the government is spending a total of Sh2.5 trillion, meaning that the next budget will expand by at least Sh252 billion.

The spending plan presented in Parliament on Tuesday showed that the Jubilee government will spend Sh450.9 billion in projects under its Big Four Agenda.

From this, about Sh76.7 billion will go towards what the Jubilee administration calls the driver projects while the remaining Sh374.1 billion will be pumped into enablers of the Big Four projects.

"The targeted expenditures will prioritise employment creation, youth empowerment, supporting manufacturing activities, enhancing health coverage, improving food security and enhancing living conditions through affordable housing," the budget document reads in part.

It notes that the allocations to other critical sectors, such as education, infrastructure, energy and social protection will remain protected in order to achieve the targeted objectives.

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