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2019-2020 BUDGET

Six things Kenyans expect from Rotich in today's budget

The country is deeply steeped in debt, forcing the government to literally borrow from Peter to pay Paul.

In Summary

• Rotich to outline new expenditures and taxation measures to fund the Sh3.02 trillion budget.

• Kenyans want to see reduced commodity prices.

Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich presents the budget for the year 2018/19 financial year in Parliament. June 14, 2018
Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich presents the budget for the year 2018/19 financial year in Parliament. June 14, 2018
Image: FILE

When National  Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich takes the podium in Parliament, Kenyans will be watching to see what is in for them in the 2019.20 budget.

The budget is expected to outline new expenditures and taxation measures to fund the Sh3.02 trillion budget.

Kenyans are eagerly awaiting the finer elements of the budget statement to be delivered on Thursday afternoon. They want to know whether life will get easier or they will have to "tighten their belts."

 
 
 
 

The Star took to the street of Nairobi's Central Business District to get a feel of what Kenyans expect in today's budget.

REDUCED FOOD PRICES

Mary Auko, a mother of three said; "commodities like wheat flour, bread, cooking oil, sugar, milk are very expensive currently. I hope the prices reduce by half ."

"I want the price of maize flour my staple food reduced. Imagine buying a 2 kg packet of maize flour at Sh150 from the previous Sh90. The government has starved me enough please surprise me today," James Opembe said.

The two say that if the prices of food commodities reduce, it will be a bonus for the Jubilee governance amidst corruption cases.



REDUCED CUSTOM DUTY

Jane Waithera, a boutique owner said; "Currently, the customs duty for various items ranging from 0 per cent to 25 per cent. I hope that range is reduced, this will reduce their cost of doing business hence increase our margins."

 
 
 

"If the custom duty for importing home furniture is reduced, they will reduce the cost of the commodities and attract more customers," Moses Wathuita said.

REDUCED MANUFACTURING COSTS

Hapreet Lotay, owner of a vehicle  tyre company said; "as a manufacturer, I will be interested to know whether the economic guidelines outlined in the financial plan have an impact on the cost of direct materials cost, labour overheads and direct expenses."

Lotay says any increase in any of the costs will lead to an increase in the prices of final products and the weight that will be felt by the consumers. 

DISASTER MANAGEMENT KITTY

In recent years, the country has been hit by calamities of various nature and magnitude. The disasters range from floods, hunger, disease outbreaks to collapsing of residential houses.

Government has previously been blamed for lack of preparedness and being reactive to calamities whenever they strike.

Anthony Kahiu, 24, hopes that there will be a kitty set aside to resolve disaster. 

"I hope they have set aside funds to mitigate calamities. I am a victim of a house that collapsed in Eastlands. I lost a lot of property and the government has never compensated me," he says.

FUEL PRICES

John Watetu, a matatu driver hopes that the government will cut excise duty of petrol, diesel and kerosene.

"Fuel prices should go down. We (matatu industry) are forced to hike fare when it rains because of the rains and we know its unfair to a common mwananchi but we also doing business," Watetu said.

IMPROVED HEALTH SERVICES

Universal health care coverage is one of the pillars in President Uhuru Kenyatta's big four agenda. The government aims to have achieved universal affordable healthcare by 2022.

John Macharia, a shoe shiner at Nairobi's CBD says that without good health, the society can't achieve good wealth.

"I am looking forward to a financial blueprint by the government on how to equip hospitals with state of the art facilities that will help treat various diseases," Macharia said.

Janet Kanini says that Kenyans expects Rotich to outline how the government plans to execute the health scheme financially. This includes National Insurance Health Fund, Pre/Postnatal care, health insurance etc. 

The current budget is Sh3.01 trillion; the new one will be Sh10 billion higher. The deficit will be an estimated Sh607 billion.