BUDGET2021/2022

Kenyans unhappy with budget, demand reduced fuel price, cost of living

While some recognized the slight positives in the Sh3.66 trillion budget, most people expressed displeasure.

In Summary

•Many have cited the high cost of living and unemployment as problems the government should seek to resolve.

•The economic situation has been worsened by Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in high inflation and massive job losses after a near-global shutdown to tame the spread of the virus.

Majority of Kenyans are unimpressed by the Budget read on Thursday by Treasury CS Ukur Yattani. https://bit.ly/3gs0wE5

Majority of Kenyans are unimpressed by the Budget read on Thursday by Treasury CS Ukur Yattani.

Many have cited the high cost of living and unemployment as problems the government should seek to resolve.

The economic situation has been worsened by Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in high inflation and massive job losses after a near-global shutdown to tame the spread of the virus.

In the 2021-22 budget, the CS announced several items had been exempted from VAT.

These items include bread, Health products and technologies. The CS also announced a transitional VAT exemption on goods used in power generation under power purchase agreements.

While some recognized the slight positives in Yattani's Sh3.66 trillion 2021-2022 budget, most people have expressed displeasure.

Some said Yatani's budget, which is a nine per cent increase from Sh3.36 trillion in the current year, will not spur recovery of the economy from the Covid-19 shocks.

Mukuna Akhaule, a city hawker and mother of two told the Star that she is very disappointed that the government did not reduce prices to more essential items.

She said her job is not enough to cater for her family's need. She had hoped that the government announced promising plans for the vulnerable Kenyans.

"The common Mwananchi was not considered in that budget. We pay high taxes and remain with nothing at the end of the day," said Mukuna, a businessman in Nairobi.

Joseph Mwaniki, a matatu driver said he expected a reduction in fuel prices in the new budget and was disappointed when it was not read.

"Fuel prices are really frustrating our jobs. Due to the high prices, we have been forced to hike fares which has forced some to opt for other means," he said.

Currently, super petrol retails at Sh126.37 per litre, diesel at Sh107.66, and kerosene at Sh97.85 per litre in Nairobi.

This, despite the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority citing a 0.6 per cent decrease in the average landing cost.

Petroleum CS John Munyes was last week summoned by the Senate Committee on Energy to explain the increase of fuel price in the last few months.

Earlier, in March, the CS defended the hike in fuel prices after EPRA released petroleum pump prices for the period March 15 – April 14, 2021, resulting in a public outcry.