FINANCE BILL

Let Njuguna save by cutting wastage

The Treasury CS should focus on eliminating wastage rather than threatening cuts in government services.

In Summary

• Anti-tax demonstrations have rocked Kenya since last week

• Treasury CS Njuguna Ndungu has been accused of blackmailing MPs by threatening cuts

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u with a budget briefcase to read the budget in Parliament, on June 13, 2024.
WASTAGE: Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u with a budget briefcase to read the budget in Parliament, on June 13, 2024.
Image: FILE

Over the last week, Kenya has been rocked by demonstrations over new taxes introduced by the Ruto government.

The demonstrators have been younger and more educated than in previous maandamano. They have avoided looting and destruction of property which has impressed many commentators. The government has dropped some tax rises such as VAT on bread.

So there has been some recognition of the righteousness of the tax demos. Nevertheless it is unfair to accuse Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung'u of  blackmail when he says he must make cuts in government programmes and services if he can't raise taxes.

Obviously Njuguna needs to make savings somewhere, even in Parliament which had to pass the Finance  Bill. He is stating home truths, not blackmailing MPs.

But there is an awful lot of wastage in government. If trips at home and abroad were stopped, if loss-making parastatals were wound up or sold off, if corruption  was curtailed, if vanity projects like nuclear power were eliminated, then plenty of money would be saved and there would be no need for sweeping cuts across the board.

So let the Treasury CS see if he can save money by cutting wastage instead of services.

Quote of the day: "There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Cavalry."

Lt Col George Armstrong Custer 
He was killed with 300 soldiers of the US 7th Cavalry by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse on June 25, 1876

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