•MPs decry lack of uniformity in share allocations by IBEC, CRA and Treasury.
•Sh8.37 billion set aside for the EqualiSation Fund and Sh11.37 billion to counties from the road maintenance levy fund.
The Commission on Revenue Allocation has recommended counties share of revenue at Sh396.05 billion, positioning the devolved units for an extra Sh21 billion in the financial year ending June 2025.
In the current financial year, county governments were allocated Sh385 billion as equitable share of revenue, in a move that governors opposed in push for Sh425 billion.
Counties, according to CRA submissions to the Budget committee of the National Assembly, would receive a total of Sh407 billion, inclusive of other conditional grants – up from Sh396 billion disbursed in the current year.
The commission says it projects the taxman to collect Sh2.898 trillion in the financial year to June 2025 of which the national government is poised for Sh2.494 trillion.
The Mary Chebukati-led commission wants Sh8.37 billion set aside for the Equalisation Fund and Sh11.37 billion to counties from the road maintenance levy fund.
“The allocation of Sh396.05 billion is equivalent to 23.7 per cent of the most recent audited and approved accounts,” the CRA chairperson told the Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro-led committee at Parliament Buildings, Tuesday.
This was even as CRA lamented the low collection of own-source revenue by counties, further revealing that counties have since inception collected a paltry Sh344 billion, with a number of them only attaining 64 per cent of their targets.
“We have to reverse this situation, especially with more counties spending more than the allowable limits when it comes to wage bill,” CRA said.
Nyoro, the chairperson of the committee, said the trends of counties getting more money every year was a sign of the House’s commitment to devolution.
“The budget committee supports devolution. That is why you see there is no back and forth in budgeting for the county governments. We need to strive for increment as it shows we are moving forward,” the Kiharu MP said.
He said the House team would by all means ensure that the budget deficit is reduced further.
“We will continue to ensure that Kenya doesn’t dig the debt hole further,” Nyoro said.
This was even as MPs also raised concerns about the divergent opinions that have followed county allocations, saying the CRA caps should take the precedence.
Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu called for an end to the situation of the CRA, National Treasury and Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council reading from a different script.
“Why would we be hearing of other figures which are different from the ones that have been determined in agreement with the concerned stakeholders? We don’t want a situation where some people bandy figures that are not from CRA recommendation,” Mulu said.
Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda questioned why the road maintenance levy funds were being disbursed as conditional allocations.
“Why do we treat it is a conditional allocation yet counties have been working with Kerra?” she said.
For Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, also a member of the committee , the question was why the commission continues using unclear revenue projections.
“As much as there is a decline in the debt to GDP ratio, why are we spending what we don’t have? Why project an increment in revenue when we are unlikely to collect the same?” he said.