National Treasury Outlines Priorities In 2023 Budget Speech

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National Treasury Outlines Priorities In 2023 Budget Speech – Mr. Mr Speaker, it is also a great privilege for me to present the budget statement to this august House and the people of the Republic of Kenya which highlights the budget policies and revenue raising measures for the 2022/23 financial year.

The issuance of this statement is to fulfill the requirements of Section 40 of the Public Finance Management Act and Standing Order No. 241 of the National Assembly.

National Treasury Outlines Priorities In 2023 Budget Speech

National Treasury Outlines Priorities In 2023 Budget Speech

Speaker, our partner countries in the East African Community have agreed that Kenya can proceed with the initial presentation of the budget report this month. This aligns the budget calendar with the timing of the general election in August 2022.

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Mr. Dear Speaker, Hon’ble President. Uhuru Kenyatta came to power in 2013, at which time, the country had completed the implementation of the first Medium Term Plan of Kenya Vision 2030 and it was the third year of implementation of the 2010 Constitution.

During the first five years, his administration formulated and implemented an economic transformation agenda under the second Medium Term Plan for Vision 2030.

The agenda focuses on five key pillars: one, improving the business environment by maintaining macroeconomic stability, addressing security challenges and reducing the cost of doing business; two, to address infrastructure gaps; three, to encourage investment in key sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and tourism; four, sharing progress by investing in pro-poor programs in health, education and social welfare and five, promoting government service delivery systems to strengthen service delivery.

Building on the progress made under the Economic Transformation Agenda, the government launched the “Big Four” agenda based on the Third Medium Term Plan for Vision 2030. The government is focused on transforming the lives of Kenyans through strategic interventions for food and nutrition security, affordable housing, productivity for job creation and universal health.

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Mr. Speaker, while we celebrate significant achievements from initial investments in economic transformation and key programs under the “Big Four” agenda, the country is grappling with various social, economic and environmental challenges.

In preparing this year’s budget, we have consulted widely with Kenyans: their views and suggestions have informed the priorities set out in this budget. Chief among the concerns were: one, the high cost of living; two, high rates of youth unemployment; three, income inequality; and four, the public debt burden.

Mr. Speaker, we noted that most of the concerns raised by Kenyans were linked to the negative effects of the Kovid-19 pandemic. In response, the government developed and implemented appropriate economic policies and set up targeted programs that protect citizens and businesses from the negative effects of the pandemic.

National Treasury Outlines Priorities In 2023 Budget Speech

Building on the progress already achieved, we have outlined policies in this Budget aimed at returning the economy to a path of sustainable growth and improved living conditions. To achieve this, we have chosen the theme of this year’s budget as “Rapid Economic Recovery to Improve Livelihoods”.

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This includes coordinating and accelerating the implementation of the “Four Four” agenda and the third economic stimulus program for sustainable growth.

Speaker, in view of the lack of fiscal space, we intend to implement these policy measures within a stable fiscal framework. Indeed, we have adjusted our spending targets and ensured a sensible revenue forecast. We have also prioritized public spending on health, education and pro-poor spending to support vulnerable sectors.

In addition, we leverage the power of public private partnerships to support public projects, support the private sector and reduce the fiscal deficit.

Mr Speaker, the next section of my report will provide an overview of the economic policy situation, the Government’s policy priorities and the strategy to accelerate the economic recovery. I will later provide an overview of the fiscal framework supporting this budget, spending priorities, and proposed tax policy measures.

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Speaker, this year’s budget has been prepared against the backdrop of a global average growth of 5.9 percent to 4.4 percent in 2021. The global economy shrank by 3.1 percent in 2020 after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, this growth interfaces mainly with the risks of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe.

Mr. Mr. Speaker, the Kenyan economy has shown remarkable resilience to the shock of COVID-19 in 2020 and a return to normalcy in 2021. A strong recovery of 9.9 percent has been recorded in the third quarter of 2021.

National Treasury Outlines Priorities In 2023 Budget Speech

Overall, the economy is projected to expand 7.6 percent in 2021, a stronger pace than the 0.3 percent contraction in 2020. By 2022, the economy is projected to stabilize at 6.0 percent, supported by a revival in agriculture, industry and the service sector.

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Mr. Speaker, to further strengthen this growth outlook, the government will continue to safeguard macroeconomic stability by ensuring that inflation remains within the government’s target range and interest rates remain stable to support private sector credit growth.

The foreign exchange market is expected to remain stable with foreign exchange reserves providing a buffer against shocks in the foreign exchange market.

Current account debt is projected to be 5.9 percent of GDP by 2022, supported by a recovery in horticulture and tea exports and an increase in remittances.

Mr. Speaker, the economic outlook may be affected by emerging internal and external risks. Domestically, a re-emergence of the Covid-19 strain and possible adverse weather conditions could set back the projected economy.

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Externally, the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe has created uncertainty that will affect the global economic outlook through supply chain disruptions, rising global oil prices and increasing inflationary pressures.

Mr. Mr. Speaker, the government will monitor all internal and external threats and take appropriate policy measures to protect the economy and Kenyans in case of threats.

Mr. Mr. Speaker, since 2017, the government has continuously implemented policies and programs under the “Big Four” agenda to promote social and economic development. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed implementation and full realization of the expected benefits.

National Treasury Outlines Priorities In 2023 Budget Speech

Speaker, to accelerate economic recovery and improve living standards, the government will continue to implement and expand the economic recovery program in this budget. The program relies on a macroeconomic policy framework that aims to:

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A One, we improve the safety of our citizens and their properties by promoting a safe and fair business environment;

B Second, increased critical infrastructure development in the sectors of roads, railways, power and water. This will facilitate the movement of people and goods, reduce the cost of doing business, improve access to social amenities and boost Kenya’s competitiveness;

C Third, strengthening the transformation of key economic sectors to sustainable recovery by promoting agricultural production, industrial growth, environmental protection and water supply; tourism recovery support; and ensuring sustainable land use and management;

D. four, to increase access to quality social services in health, education and appropriate social security facilities for vulnerable communities;

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F Six, continue to support the government’s delivery system through effective negotiation, policy guidance and timely transfer of shared revenue.

This will indeed strengthen local government systems and improve the delivery of quality services; And finally, to stabilize the implementation of various reforms aimed at increasing efficiency in the delivery of public services.

Mr. Speaker, the implementation of the economic recovery program supported by the International Monetary Fund is fully on track.

National Treasury Outlines Priorities In 2023 Budget Speech

The IMF program has four main objectives: first, to enhance the response to COVID-19 by supporting health and other sectors most affected by the pandemic; second, reducing debt fragility by pursuing a revenue-driven fiscal consolidation strategy aimed at stabilizing and then lowering the debt-to-GDP ratio;

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Third, supporting structural and administrative restructuring while dealing with weaknesses in government enterprises with the aim of increasing efficiency in the management of economic and financial affairs; and, fourth, to implement specific measures to strengthen the monetary policy framework and support financial stability.

Mr. Speaker, with the above, the government has continued to implement various stimulus programs to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, support businesses and general employment to reduce the negative social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr. Speaker, in the 2021/22 financial year, the third phase of the economic recovery program under targeted implementation; One, the “Kazi Matani” program to create employment opportunities for over 200,000 youth across the country; Second, preparing the education sector for the transition to skill-based curriculum (CBC) by building new classrooms to accommodate the more than one million students expected to enter secondary schools for children in January 2023;

Third, the construction of 50 additional Level 3 hospitals in underserved and densely populated areas across the country to improve access to medical services; four, which support the livelihood of farmers in the sugar belt; providing fertilizer assistance to small tea farmers; and, conclusion of ongoing interventions in the coffee sector; and five, assistance to drought-affected communities in arid and semi-arid regions of the country.

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Mr. Speaker, in this statement, I will propose adding allocations to various activities under economic stimulus.

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