A week ago, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury, Henry Rotich presented to the nation the 2016/2017 financial year National Budget. The budget was at an estimate of 2.3 trillion shillings. This budget was said to be the most expensive and the most ambitious budget in the history of the country with a budget deficit of more than 700 billion shillings. This means that for the government to sustain the budget, borrowing of more than 700 billion shillings is necessary. This led to some Kenyans including the media taking to the social media calling it the budget that was only to thrive on the wheels of debt putting in mind that it is higher than that of Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
A lot of information has been written on the national budgets in Kenya. However, no single individual has taken time to look back and analyse how the Kenyan budget has been growing each coming year and the factors that have been contributing to this growth. So, how has the Kenyan budget been growing for the last 20 years? What are some of the factors that have contributed to this growth? What is the way forward to the Kenyan economy with the rising budget?
In the financial year 2016/2016, the budget stood at 2.3 trillion shillings being an increase from the 2.1 trillion shilling budget for the financial year 2015/2016. This was an increase of more than 0.1 trillion shillings.
For the financial year 2014/2015, the budget stood at 1.7 trillion shillings. This was higher than the 1.54 trillion shilling budget for the financial year 2013/2014. The budget for the financial year 2012/2013 was estimated at 1.45 trillion shillings which was similar to the estimate of the financial year 2011/2012 with the difference being in number of few millions.
The financial year 2011/2012 is what marked the beginning of the Kenyan budget in terms of trillions for before that, the budget was only in billions.
The financial year 2010/2011 had an estimated budget of 977 billion shillings which was even higher than that of the financial year 2009/2010 which was 867.6 billion shillings. For the financial year 2008/2009, the budget stood at 758.9 billion shillings while that of the financial year stood 2007/2008 at 693.6 billion shillings.
For the financial year 2006/2007 was estimated at 550.1 billion shillings. This was up from 492.4 billion shilling budget of the financial year 2005/2006. The financial year 2004/2005 recorded an estimated budget of 440 billion shillings while that of the financial year 2003/2004 stood at 240 billion shillings.
The financial years 2002/2003, 2001/2002, 2000/2001 and 1999/2000 had a budget estimated at 218.9, 218.6, 217.72 and 163.1 billion shillings respectively. While the estimates for the financial years 1998/1999, 1997/1998, 1996/1997 was 163, 162 and 159.8 billion shillings respectively. In most publications, the budget estimates for the financial year 1997/1998, 1996/1997 and 1995/1996 had been given in Kenyan Pound and, therefore, had to estimate them by multiplying with 20 which may not indicate the exact figures.
The table below shows how the budget of Kenya has been growing in numbers: (The table however shows the change for the last ten years from the financial year 2016/2017 to 2008/2007)
|MOUNT||2.3 tr||2.1 tr||1.7 tr||1.5 tr||1.45 tr||1.45 tr||977 bn||867.6 bn||758.9 bn||693.6bn|
The line graph below simplifies how the Kenyan budget has been rising for the last ten years in trillions.
See the graph bar below for a view on how Kenya’s spending has been rising (in trillions):
Each coming year, the Kenyan budget has been rising. Some people have projected that there shall come a time when the budget will be too expensive for the nation to maintain and sustain. Economists including the International Monetary Fund, IMF, have already issued a red flag concerning the country’s borrowing spree with at some point being estimated that every Kenyan owed the world at least 75,000 shillings. (Though the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury said that Kenya is still with the debt threshold set by the World Bank and the IMF.)
Ideally, the budget for any given country has to rise. There is no nation in the world whose budget has gone down each year a financial budget is read and Kenya is no exception. However, what matters most are the reasons why the budget keeps on rising. Is if for the benefit of the common man on the ground? Is it for the sustenance of the status quo?
One of the factors that have led to the growing Kenyan budget is population. Kenya’s population has been increasing over the years. The increase in population has often put too much pressure on the little available resources and the burden transferred to the government to supplement. The greatest part of the Kenya’s population is made up of the youth and the majority of them are unemployed.
Kenya spends a lot on infrastructure. Kenya’s infrastructural sector has been growing over the years with the challenging being upgrading from the archaic infrastructure to modern ones. These efforts have seen the coming into being of such infrastructures as Thika Super Highway, the Standard Gauge Railway as well as the upgrading of airports across the country.
Kenya’s new constitution contributed immensely in the rising of the Kenyan budget. The constitution created devolution. The 47 counties around the country, apart from the revenue that they generate on their own, most of the financing comes from the National Government. Free Primary Education program that was started by the Mwai Kibaki government also has an impact on the Kenyan budget. The government foots the bill for all the pupils in public primary schools in the country with the current one being the government paying examination fees for both class eight and form four candidates.
Did you know that corruption has a great impact on the economy of this country? Well, one of the factors that have led to the rising of the Kenyan budget is corruption. According to PKF East Africa, 50 percent of the Kenya’s budget is lost due to corruption. Corruption continues to be the cancer of Kenya’s economy with the President of the Republic of Kenya declaring it a threat to National Security.