President Ruto: We are living beyond our means

In his maiden speech as President William Ruto did not mince his words while addressing the problematic and at times chaotic issue of pending bills.

President Ruto said the country is living beyond its means, with ever-rising debt that stands at Sh10 trillion and unpaid pending bills running into billions.

“Clearly, we are living beyond our means. This situation must be corrected.”

The President highlighted the rising number of pending bills are a menace saying individuals, families, and their companies have been driven to ruin and forced to shut down, over government unpaid bills.

“This year, we will spend 60 per cent of our revenues to service our debt. We are faced with Ksh 600 billion in pending bills for goods and services supplied to the government.”

As of April 2022, the county pending bills stood at Sh32.96 billion, despite the law dictating payment of all goods or services being supplied in 60 days.

Treasury statistics show pending bills climbed to Sh504.7 billion at the end of the last financial year in June, a 40.39 percent jump over Sh359.5 billion the previous year, making it the biggest annual jump on record.

To remedy this worsening situation, he promised to give priority to the expeditious resolution of pending bills so that the government can meet its obligations and facilitate better economic performance.

“We shall advise government creditors on the mechanism for the resolution of their outstanding payments. We are committed to ensuring that they are paid in the shortest time possible.”

Additionally, the President said his administration will urgently expand the country’s tax base. He added that Kenya Kwanza’s job-creation agenda and capitalizing SMEs will go a long way in broadening our tax bracket.

As for the tax collector, he vowed to make KRA more professional, efficient, responsive, and people-friendly.

Equally, he said he has witnessed the potential of county governments and pledged to accelerate the transfer of outstanding functions to counties, together with the attendant resources.

“To promote budget efficiency and minimize disruptions and delays in devolved service delivery, my administration commits to take necessary measures to secure the timely disbursement of revenue allocations to county governments.

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