Kenya Kwanza Alliance has accused the government of being mischievous in the preparation of the 2022/2023 transitional budget.
The team led by Deputy President William Ruto, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetangúla have promised to reject the Budget if their concerns are not adequately addressed.
They warned the Treasury against signing any new loans or floating sovereign bonds.
In a statement read by Mudavadi at a Meru hotel, the Kenya Kwanza leaders said “sponsored” amendments to the Budget Policy Statements (BPS) for the Financial Year 2022/2023 are in bad faith.
The Kenya Kwanza brigade is in Meru County for a series of political rallies in the region.
The party leader said they are aware that the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has prepared for submission to Parliament a proposal for a new debt ceiling of approximately over Sh12 trillion.
“Parliament must avoid any further strangulation of Kenyans with additional debts by refusing any request for approval of a new debt ceiling,” he said.
He accused Yatani of technically exceeding the set debt ceiling without seeking approval from Parliament in total violation of the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act, 2012.
“The total loan commitments and stock of debt procured exceed the public debt ceiling of Sh9 trillion as approved by Parliament in 2019 thereby breaching Article 211 of the Constitution read with Section 50 (2) of the PFM Act, 2012,”he stated.
He said the CS should not sign any new loans including floating sovereign bonds during the transition period.
“The National Assembly and the Senate should reduce the budget ceiling to ensure a fiscal deficit that does not exceed Sh400 billion and check on the growing public debt,” he added.
Mudavadi further regretted that the BPS has proposed to maintain the equitable share of the revenue going to counties in FY 2022/2023 at Sh370billion.
He noted that the BBI Bill 2020 proposed amendment of Article 203(2) of the Constitution to increase the equitable share raised nationally allocated to county government from 15 per cent to 35 per cent.
“We do not need a constitutional amendment to give more money to counties. We, therefore, support the proposal by our members under Section 25 (7) of the PFM Act, 2012 to increase the equitable share to counties to Sh495 billion in the FY 2022/2023,” he added.
Mudavadi explained that the law allows Parliament to pass a resolution to adopt the BPS with or without amendments.
“This amendment deserves the goodwill and unwavering support of all Members of the National Assembly, Governors, and the MCAs to ensure devolution works in line with the Constitutional mandate of counties”
He added that Kenya Kwanza legislators have proposed for provisions Sh50 billion in the FY 2022/2023 for the establishment of an affordable credit scheme to support small businesses, expand the tax bracket, and increase tax collection thereby reducing the high level of domestic borrowing.
He further said Kenya Kwanza lawmakers have proposed an amendment of the BPS 2022 to provide for an additional Sh5 billion for fertiliser subsidy program to bring the fertilizer prices down to about Sh2,500 per bag.
Mudavadi also named a proposed allocation of Sh1.8 billion in the FY 2022/2023 to cater for the Teachers Professional Development Programme.
“Further, our Members have proposed doubling the allocation for funding to the HELB to ensure seamless processing of loans to University and TVET students who are presently suffering due to lack of funds at HELB for disbursement,” he said.Kenya Kwanza has also an amendment for the provision of an additional Sh2 billion required for drought mitigation including livestock-off take programme in the budget for the FY 2022/2023.
“The ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the deteriorating food security situation are worrying while the indicative budget for the livestock off-take programme indicated a reduction in allocation from Sh249 million in 2021/2022 to Sh140 million in 2022/23,” Mudavadi said.
He noted that the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) projects the situation to worsen further and affect over 4 million people in Baringo, Kitui, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, TanaRiver, Isiolo, Turkana, West Pokot, Makueni, Marsabit, Samburu, and Mandera counties.
He added that Yatani should designate under Section 67 of the PFM Act, 2012, the Inspector-General as an Accounting Officer for the National Police Service. He said this will provide financial autonomy and assure the Country of independent and effective policing services, especially the office of the DCI in the fight against corruption and maintenance of security across the country.