Kenyans decry Sh3.07 trillion budget as only for the rich – Finance – kenyagist

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Kenyans decry Sh3.07 trillion budget as only for the rich – Finance – Pulselive.co.ke

Even before it has been officially released, the Kenyan 2018-19 budget has already found critics who have poked holes into the Sh3.07 trillion budget.

The
proposed 3.07 trillion shillings 2018-2019 budget has attracted sharp criticism
from various groups with the Kenya Fight Inequality Alliance being the most
vocal and terming the whole budget a tool for the Haves and leaving millions of
Haves not to fend for themselves.

“Faced
with a fiscal crisis as a consequence of graft and over borrowing, the
Government is choosing to balance the books on the backs of the poor people, by
increasing the cost of basic goods for instance food,”
the alliance says.


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Activists staging a protest against the 2018-19 budget in Nairobi. (Facebook)

 

The group
says that the trend has been set where the annual budget no longer addresses
the most basic needs of the majority poor.

Compared
to the
2017-2018 budget where the country spent Sh2.6 trillion, the new financial year
is up by over Sh4 trillion.

On
Thursday, Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich is expected to announce 2018-19 budget
which will highlight allocations to various state functions.


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Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich is expected to announce 2018-19 budget on Thursday (the star)

 

According
to the National Treasury, the 2018-2019 budget proposal is focusing majorly on
the big four agenda that is manufacturing, food security, universal health care
and affordable housing.

However,
the Alliance says as much as this is a positive step towards development, the
budget must invest in the basic needs as well because most mega projects have
been turned into a cash cow for the few selfish people.

The
alliance proposes that government should instead use the national budget to
design ways of reducing the perennial gap between the rich and the poor by
taxing the rich more than the poor and allocating more funds to free universal
health care, education and reducing tax on commodities like food stuffs.


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Compared to the 2017-2018 budget where the country spent Sh2.6 trillion, the new financial year is up by over Sh4 trillion. (Facebook)

 

Their
argument is supported by Wanjiru Njoroge from the Daughters of Mumbi Resource
Center, an independent, non-partisan network based in Kabete, Nairobi, who says
the budget has never worked for the small scale women traders especially in the
slums who need the tax breaks more than the Kenyan tycoons.

“These women work hard and the little they earn is taken away
by the tax man”
Wanjiru says.

According to Oxfam International, extreme inequality is out
of control in Kenya.


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A file photo of Nairobi residents walking on the streets. (the star)

 

Less than 0.1% of the population (8,300 people) own more
wealth than the bottom 99.9% (more than 44 million people).

The Kenyan taxpayer will be forced to dig deeper into their
pockets and contribute individually to the service of Sh870 billion debt owed to
creditors over the 2018-2019 financial year alone, according to the budget
estimates presented to the national assembly.


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