A draft Bill has proposed a Sh12,000 stipend to unemployed youth.
If enacted, the Social Assistance (Amendment) Legislative Proposal, 2018 by Saboti MP Caleb Amisi will see the unemployed handed the money payable in every four months.
The proposal seeks to amend the Social Assistance Act of 2013 to provide that a person who qualifies as having no form of income receives the monetary assistance from the government.
“The Bill amends the definition of financial assistance to include a hardship allowance. For an unemployed person to qualify for a social assistance, the Bill requires that one must be registered with the National Employment Authority,” says the proposal.
Yesterday, Amisi appeared before the Budget and Appropriation Committee to discuss the financial implication of the draft Bill.
A document prepared by the Parliamentary Budget Office shows that the country will require Sh93.6 billion to implement the proposal in the first year.
The figure is expected to shoot to Sh100.8 billion and Sh108 billion in the second and third year of implementation.
The budget office said there were a total of 2.6 million unemployed youth. The figure is based on United Nations Development Programme (UNDP’s) estimation.
It is also projected that the number of unemployed will increase by 200,000 every year.
“There are 2.6 million unemployed youth. This is the number of youths with requisite qualifications, looking for employment but cannot find,” says the budget office.
“Based on these assumptions, it will cost approximately Sh93.6 billion in the first year, Sh100.8 billion in the second year and Sh108 billion in the third year,” it adds.
The office observed that the move will provide necessary support and facilitation to needy unemployed youths to be able to look for job opportunities.
But it warned that such support may reduce the incentive by the unemployed youth to search for job, and in the long-run perpetuate poverty in the country.
It further warned that provision of such a stipend may be very costly as more youths would be attracted.
The office also cautioned that the number of unemployed youth may be higher than reported.
The budget office suggested that Parliament should consider amending the proposal to make it a requirement that the beneficiaries provide some hours of communal work.
It also suggested that the beneficiaries prove or show effort that they are looking for work.?
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