Yesternight, Kwame Owino the Chief Executive Officer of Institute Of Economic Affairs (IEA) spoke on a local television about the 2019-2020 Budget.
Below are the takeaways:
We have a government that is spending over $30b (Kshs. 3 trillion). Which makes it a budget that is 10% larger than all other East Africa countries put together.
Our tax burden is also the highest in East Africa.
We have a much bigger government relative to what we are getting as income.
We have a taxing government and a spending government.
We must have a balance.
We are paying a debt of about Kshs. 700 billion and borrowing another of about Kshs. 700 billion. To say that we are on a better financial position is just a lie. We are on the borrowing treadmill. We are a wasteful country.
We are taxing big and spending big and that’s why I say we are a wasteful country.
There is no financial gymnastics we can do to get ourselves out of the treadmill of debt that we are in except reducing expenditure. Our problem is spending.
KRA can chase the last shilling but we will not close the gap between needs and the income that is available.
This Constitution made Parliament a budget making body. That is the worst thing that happened. They are lying to us as they try to show us that Treasury should take the blame.
That vote in the house is very powerful.
In 2017, the National Government (Executive) spent Kshs. 4.1 billion on fuel. That means they were spending close to Kshs. 300-400 million per month. It’s clear that money was not ending in pumps. There is a lack of balance.
In a Constitutional order it is Parliament that is supposed to examine taxation and expenditure.
The biggest threat to Devolution is that acrimony between the National Assembly and the Senate. They act as siblings that want to be closer to the Treasury.