On 12 July 2014, the Finance Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich will be presenting the 2014/2015 Kenyan Budget to parliament for approval. To many citizens looking forward to this budget reading, the cycle has always been the same over the years till it has lost meaning. But just what is a government and what does it entail? Or put otherwise, why should you even be concerned about the national budget at all?
This is why:
A budget is not merely a list of the government’s expenditures and revenues. In a broader sense, a government budget is the government’s national economic policy document for the next financial year. The documents puts forward what the government expects for the following financial year in terms of expenditure on its economic projects and social programmes and how to raise the money needed to fund all these. It also prioritizes the projects and allocates revenue as appropriate.
From the budget statement, the economic climate of the country for the next financial year can be predicted by other interested stakeholders. The budget therefore advices investors both local and foreign on their next move with regard to investing in the country. To a larger extent too, the budget may influence foreign relations policy when it touches on taxes for imports from its strategic trade partners.The two then have direct impact on economic growth for the country.
As the ordinary citizen that you are, the national budget helps you understand the government plans for the next financial year. You will find out the economic and social projects lined up by the government for you and be in a better position to stand to gain from them. The budget will also help you monitor the performance of the government and ensure there is transparency and accountability in service delivery by the government.
Besides, you will also get to know the taxes you shall be paying for the next financial year and include them in your personal financial planning; since they always reduce your disposable income significantly.
Simply put, the budget is a must read and understand document for every citizen since it directly and indirectly affects your economic standing for the next financial year. This thereby determines the quality of your life for the next financial year based on the vibrancy of the economy as set out in the government economic policy document: the Kenya National Budget 2014/2015.