The citizens are in limbo following the revelation from the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary CS Prof Njuguna Ndung’u about the state being in a strained economical status.
This comes amid the traumatizing high living standards, with high food prices that have citizens straining even more to afford meals and a means of living. However, CS insisted for now, the National Treasury says the focus was on managing the national debt that stood at Ksh.8.7 trillion as of September last year.
“If we borrow, we can only borrow to rescue the costly short-term debt, for example, domestic debt, so we have to borrow in a manner concessional to solve the expensive debt, we will solve that, it is solutions that can work, solutions that have been seen to work…,” says Prof. Ndung’u.
Prof Njuguna revealed that there’s a lack of resources to finance key public expenditures citing an inadequacy in available resources as less than the listed expenses. A concession on the country’s economy from the CS has dampened hopes of a reduction in the cost of living for millions of Kenyans.
CS Njuguna in an attempt to relate the household budget to the national budget stated; “Ukiwa unaishi kwa hii nchi unajua ile matatizo ya hela iko hii nchi, it is something we have to resolve, we have a resource constraint…hatuna hela, lazima tujisaidie. Lakini tukipata hela, yote yatawezekana…tumetoka mbali, huo upungufu utakwisha, hatuwezi sema utaisha leo au kesho, lakini tutakuja kutatua hiyo shida…”
Further stating that in the fiscal year 2022/2023 based on the first supplementary estimates transmitted to the Legislature, there was a shortfall in the actualization of government austerity measures.
Citing that only Ksh.106 billion is proposed for deduction from development spending and reallocation of Ksh.92.2 billion of the funds to recurrent expenditure which leaves the government with savings of only Ksh.13.3 billion.
“Hata wewe kwako nyumbani unaweza kuwa broke, lakini si uko na nyumba unakaa? Ni mahitaji yale uko nayo na zile pesa uko nazo unaona hazilingani…? Serikali ni kama kwako nyumbani, uko na mahitaji lakini pesa ya kutosheleza mahitaji yote hakuna. Lakini ukingoja kidogo, ufanye kazi kwa bidi, unapata hela za kutosheleza hayo mahitaji…,” said the CS.
Moreover, CS Njuguna read out that in the first half of the financial year running from July to December last year, the taxman missed the revenue collection target by Ksh.51.8 billion impacting the budget allocation.
The under-expenditure of Ksh.108.6 billion is attributed to lower absorption recorded in recurrent and development expenditures of Ksh.52.1 billion and delayed disbursement to county governments worth ksh.56.6 billion.
In response to the stalemate between the Governors and the National government that has seen a delayed disbursement from the 2023/2024 budget. He urged on a need for timely agreement emphasizing the presence of Ksh. 380 billion as stated by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua earlier on, whereas the county heads demanded an allocation of Ksh. 425 billion in the 2023/2024 budget.