President Uhuru Kenyatta’s announcement that a supplementary budget will be presented to Parliament as it resumes today to address the cost of living has been received mixed reactions from leaders.
On Sunday, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said the President was concerned about the rising cost of essential commodities.
“The President has settled on fresh measures through a supplementary budget to address the situation,” Mr Esipisu said.
Mr Esipisu, who was addressing the media at State House, Nairobi, said Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich was finalising the details of the supplementary budget before it is taken to Parliament.
Yesterday, Kiharu MP Irungu Kang’ata said the decision to introduce the supplementary budget is good but a long-term solution needed to be devised.
“Long term measures are needed such as completion of irrigation projects,” Mr Kang’ata said.
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He went on: “It is true there is inflation partly due to demand and supply issues. On demand side, during campaigns there is usually heightened money circulation which creates huge demand hence increase in prices. So one ought not to blame Jubilee for it.” Mr Kang’ata added.
He also blamed drought for reduced supply in key commodities. “The answer should be as per proposal contained in the supplementary budget cushioning the poor against inflation,” he said.
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said the introduction of the supplementary budget had come too late and could just be a scheme by the government to hoodwink Kenyans that it is doing something.
“The President is talking about the high cost of living as if he has been living outside this country, this only means that he is not in touch with the reality Kenyans are facing,” Mr Wandayi told Nation.
He went on: “The introduction of the supplementary budget cannot work because the revenue base of the country is too weak to support it.”
Uriri MP John K’Obado also faulted the decision, saying it could be another scam by the Jubilee administration in the offing.
“We know it is campaign time and anything is possible at this time. Money can be allocated to cushion Kenyans then later it ends up in other people’s pocket,” Mr K’Obado said.