The Finance Budget or Financial budgeting is the process of planning expenses and revenues for a given period of time. On 15th June 2023, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, a former Central Bank Governor, tabled Kenya Kwanza’s first Finance Budget in Parliament.
This was done to fulfil a tradition accustomed to East Africa Community member states. The EAC Treaty requires Finance Ministers of the party states to read their Finance Budget yearly.
The Finance Budget 2023/24 reading came a couple of hours after the proposed Finance Bill by President William Ruto was passed by Members of the National Assembly. The budget is set to take effect on July 1 to June 30 next year.
The Finance Budget is expected to establish President William Ruto’s bottom-up economic model, a notion he instilled to his supporters during campaign rallies towards the concluded general election.
Speaking ahead of the Budget speech, Prof Ndung’u described the macroeconomic environment defining Kenya Kwanza’s debut Budget as “the perfect storm”.
He said that preparing the Sh3.6 trillion spending plan has been a delicate balancing act as the government seeks to unlock new revenue through the much-debated Finance Bill 2023.
“It’s the first Budget that I am going to present…It is also the first Budget under the Bottom Up Economic model. The premise of that is that we are coming from a very devastating kind of economic slowdown. We call it a perfect storm if you want to replicate what the Economic Advisory Team of the President has said.” Prof Ndung’u said in an interview on Wednesday.
However, the Budget presented to the Parliament by Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u received much criticisms as some members of the public showed a lack of faith in what the government drafted. This also saw opposition members of Parliament walk out of the House of National Assembly immediately after the Treasury CS took it to the stage.
“We’ve walked out because Azimio doesn’t believe in this budget. We don’t think this budget is made for the Kenyan people but for the Kenya Kwanza government. We will not participate.” Said Minority leader Junet Mohamed.
Government Budget Allocations.
Executive, which comprises ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), will receive the bulk of the allocation at Sh2.16 trillion.
Parliament, which comprises National Assembly and Senate, will receive a total of Sh40.4 billion.
The judiciary has been allocated the least amount of money at Sh22.99 billion.
The 47 counties will receive Sh385.4 billion as part of the shareable revenue.
Other expenditure items will be what is known as the Consolidated Fund Services (CFS). CFS has been allocated a total of Sh1.836 trillion, taking the total spending in the financial year 2023/24 to Sh4.45 trillion.
The Finance Budget; Spending.
Housing and Land
“The cost of housing is a heavy burden to the majority of Kenyans and is the main factor driving the proliferation of slums in the country.”
The government plans to use housing as an economic opportunity through employment.
Sh35.2 billion to the housing programme
Sh7.3 billion Kenya urban programme
Sh5.5 billion Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company
Sh3.2 billion affordable housing units
Sh3.3 billion social housing units
Sh5.5 billion Kenyan informal settlement improvement project phase 2
Sh5.2 billion for construction of new markets
Sh932 million for maintenance of government pools
Sh1.2 billion for housing units for police and prisons
Sh637 millon for municipal programmes
Sh150 million footbridges
Sh300 million development of appropriate building technology
To ensure the legitimacy of land ownership: “I propose a budget allocation of Sh1.2 billion for the processing and registration of title deeds, Sh2.6 billion for settlement of the landless, Sh755 million towards digitisation of the land registry and Sh138.3 million for construction of land registries.”
Treasury proposes to allocate Sh141.2 billion (3.8 per cent of the budget) to health sector.
Universal Health Coverage has been allocated Sh18.4 billion.
Kenya Covid-19 Emergency Response Project has received Sh3.7 billion.
Free maternity healthcare allocated 4.1 billion.
Managed Equipment Services has been allocated Sh5.9 billion
Medical cover for the elderly and severely disabled persons has received Sh1.7 billion.
To lower cases of Malaria and TB and HIV/AIDS in the economy, Sh24.8 billion has been proposed, under Global Fund in order to lower cases.
Sh4.6 billion has been proposed to enhance vaccines and immunisation programmes.
Health research and innovations allocated Sh4.9 billion.
Sh1.9 billion has been allocated for the construction of a cancer centre at Kisii Level 5 hospital
Sh500 million for strengthening cancer centre management at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Sh155 million for the establishment of regional cancer centres “in order to promote early diagnosis and management of cancer, and reduce the burden of treatment among Kenyans.”
“The government is committed to delivering universal health coverage to ensure every Kenyan attains dignified healthcare at a minimum cost.”
Security is critical for creating a safe environment for investment and protection of the citizens.
Proposed the allocation of Sh338.2 billion to support operations of KDF, NPS, NIS and Kenya Prison Service.
Kenya Defence Forces – Sh144.9 billion
National Police Service – Sh98.6 billion
National Intelligence Service – Sh44.3 billion
Kenya Prisons Service – Sh31.3 billion
Treasury proposes to effect the budget allocation of Sh15.1bn to fund initiatives in the ICT sector.
Sh600 million for the government shared services to fast track the development of Konza technopolis city.
Sh4.8 billion for the horizontal infrastructure phase one
Sh1.2 billion for Konza data centre and smart city facilities
Sh475 million for construction of Konza complex phase one B
Sh5.7 billion for the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology at Konza
Sh1.3 billion for maintenance and rehabilitation of the national optic fibre backbone phase two expansion cable
Sh583 million for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the last mile county connectivity network.
“The digital superhighway will play a critical role in enabling govt to achieve the objectives of BETA (Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda) as well as enhancing revenue collection through automation.”
Tourism, sports and culture and recreation
Treasury allocates Sh12.5 billion to tourism, sports, culture and recreation.
This includes an allocation of Sh6.4 billion under the sports, arts and social development fund.
Sh4.1 billion for the Tourism Fund
Sh2 billion Tourism Promotion Fund
Sh1.1 billion for human-wildlife conflict compensation
Sh800 million for wildlife insurance
Sh400 million for maintenance of access roads and airstrips in parks
Sh319 million for drilling of boreholes in protected areas for the provision of water for wildlife
Sh226 million for wildlife research facilities
“The government has prioritised expanding the space for creativity including freedom of expression and protection of intellectual property rights. We will also strengthen mainstreaming of arts and culture infrastructure and support cultural production and a creative economy. We are also cognizant of the brand value of Kenyans participating and excelling in the international sports arena as of ultimate importance to us.”
Kenya Power, rural households and businesses and renewable energy win big in Sh62.3 billion allocation in the 2023/24 budget.
Sh33.8 billion allocated to the national grid system
Sh12.1 billion was set aside for the Rural Electrification Scheme (RES).
A further Sh11.4 billion will be used to tap and develop geothermal energy sources
Sh3.2 billion will go to supporting alternative energy technologies
Infrastructure has been allocated Sh244.9 billion as one of the enablers of BETA.
Sh37.4 billion for the second phase of the standard gauge railway (SGR).
Sh579 million for rehabilitation of locomotives
Sh889 million for the development of Nairobi Railway City
Sh1.1 billion for Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Sh300 million acquisition of ferries for Lake Victoria
Sh727 million for construction and expansion of airports and airstrips
Sh500 million smart driving licence
Sh2.6 billion infrastructure development for Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone
Fight against corruption
Sh3.9 billion to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission
Sh3.6 billion for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Sh8 billion Directorate of Criminal Investigations
Sh8 billion for the Office of the Auditor General.
The Treasury has allocated the Education sector Sh628.6 billion, translating to 17 per cent of the 2023/2024 budget.
Free primary education Sh12.5 billion
Free secondary education, including insurance under the National Health Insurance Fund Sh65.4 billion
Capitation for Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) Sh 25.5 billion
Teachers Service Commission (TSC) proposed allocation increased to Sh316.7 billion from Sh300.1 billion
Allocation to university education slashed from Sh108 billion to Sh97.5 billion
Helb allocation doubled to Sh30.3 billion from Sh15.8 billion
“The government will continue to address inequality in our education system in order to level the playing field for all children despite their background.”
Sh26.9 billion budget for the development and promotion of industries through various ministries:
Sh4.7 billion for county-integrated agro-industrial parks
Sh3 billion for six Export processing zones
Sh3.1 billion to support access to finance and enterprise recovery project.
Sh500 million for Special Economic Zones Textile Park in Naivasha
Sh1.8 billion for the construction of an effluent treatment plant at Kenanie in Machakos
The revitalisation of cash crops for industries:
Sh120 million for cotton
Sh62 million for coconut
Sh35 million for cashew nuts
Sh150 million for pyrethrum
Sh100 million for modernisation of co-operative cotton ginneries
Sh134 million for national edible oil crop production project.
Sh270 million for sugar reforms support project
Sh1.5 billion for Kenya’s industry and entrepreneurship project to provide essential internship opportunities for the youth
Sh300 million for Kenya Youth Employment and opportunity project
Sh332 million for the construction of industrial research laboratories
Sh182.9 million for constituency industrial development centres
“In order to improve productivity in the manufacturing sector, the government will adopt a value chain-based approach through the Bottom-Up Economic development agenda. This will address bottlenecks that have impeded the growth of the manufacturing sector in order to create jobs and enhance the economy’s competitiveness.”
Betting and alcohol adverts
Treasury proposes the introduction of a 15 per cent excise duty rate of excisable value of fees charged on advertisement by all televisions, print media, billboards, and radio stations in promotion of alcohol, gaming, lottery and price competition.
“Consumption of alcohol, betting, gaming, lottery and price competition are extremely addictive and result in harmful repercussions in the society, especially the youth.”
New tax bands
Only 26,676 employees, who constitute 0.8 per cent of total employed workers in the country, are affected by the newly introduced top tax bands of 32.5 per cent and 35 per cent targeting those earning above Sh500,000 per month.