National Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee members led by Chairman Ndindi Nyoro addressing the media at Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, Nairobi on November 14, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Members of Parliament have padded their remuneration by Sh2 billion apparently to cushion themselves against the new wave of President William Ruto’s taxes such as the Housing levy.

In the 2024 Budget Policy Statement (BPS) report that has since been approved by the National Assembly, legislators increased their allocation by readjusting their spending limits.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee chaired by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro increased Parliament’s allocation to Sh43.2 billion, up from Sh41.62 billion which had been allocated by the National Treasury for the 2024/2025 financial year.

And with the 1.5 per cent Housing levy set to make a comeback after the courts threw out a petition challenging the Affordable Housing Bill, the allocation is seen as a move by the MPs to ensure that they are not weighed down by the new charges.

In the report, Nyoro noted that submissions by the Parliamentary Service Commission indicated that Parliament’s total resource requirement for the financial year that starts July 1 were pegged at Sh65.81 billion.

The committee indicated that the resource requirement was to enable MPs achieve their constitutional mandate and promote parliamentary democracy.

It, however, termed the Sh2 billion as 'marginal' and expressed concern that it would not be enough to cater for the annual wage drift and the employer contribution to the Housing Levy.

“Concerned by the constant underfunding of the Legislature and noting the need to ensure predictability and adequacy of resources for the Legislature, the commission recommended that going forward, the annual allocation to Parliament be pegged at an amount of not less than 2.5 per cent of all national government’s share of revenue,” Nyoro stated in the report.

In the report, the Executive was also allocated an extra Sh50 billion, after the Budget and Appropriations Committee increased its budget ceiling to Sh2.488 trillion from an earlier proposed Sh2.438 trillion by the National Treasury.

The Judiciary's allocation was however retained at Sh23.69 billion for the 2024/2025 financial year but it represents a Sh1.3 billion increase from the Sh22.8 billion allocations in the current 2023/2024 financial year.  

As for the county governments' equitable share, it was approved at Sh391 billion.

“That consistent with the latest audited and approved revenues for the 2021/2022 financial year amounting to Sh1.7 trillion, the allocation to the Equalization Fund be set at Sh7.85 billion,” the committee recommended.

The House team also recommended that the arrears to the Equalization Fund be set at Sh3.55 billion in the next financial year.

It further recommended that consistent with the approved borrowing strategy in the medium-term debt management strategy, the projected fiscal deficit be set at Sh703.9 billion being the difference between total revenues and grants and total expenditure and net lending.

Other key allocations include State House Sh9.2 billion, Office of the President Sh5.4 billion, and the office of the Deputy President Sh4.5 billion. The office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary was allocated Sh1.5 billion.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) was also allocated an impressive Sh369.9 billion to be used for the employment of 20,000 new teachers while the State Department of Transport was allocated Sh221.9 billion.

Under the Education sector, the State Department of Higher Education got Sh131 billion, university education Sh130.2 billion while the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) department was allocated Sh30.4 billion.

Another Sh144.4 billion was also allocated under the sector with the State Department of Secondary Education receiving Sh105.8 billion which will go towards junior secondary schools (JSS). Primary Education has been allocated Sh27.7 billion.

At the same time, Sh82.5 billion was apportioned to the housing sector - a key area that President William Ruto is banking on to implement his affordable housing agenda - with Sh72 billion going towards housing development and human settlement.

National Treasury also got an allocation of Sh152 billion, whereas the State Department of Economic Planning got Sh69.3 billion, Office of the Auditor General Sh8.9 billion, and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Sh3.6 billion.

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