Debt, teachers take lion’s share of July taxes

Times Tower, the headquarters of the KRA, in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Times Tower, the headquarters of the KRA, in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Public debt, teachers and security agencies gobbled the bulk of the taxes that the government collected in the last month to the General Election.

Data published by the Treasury shows that Sh16.56 billion was released to pay public debt in July, pointing to its distorting effect on the economy.

The money spent on public debt, taken together with the Sh16.88 billion issued to the Teachers Service Commission, account for 64 per cent of the Sh52.18 billion issued to cover the state’s recurrent expenditures for July.

Others given priority were the Department of University Education which received Sh8.23 billion, Department of Defence which got Sh6.746 billion and the National Intelligence Service which received Sh2.44 billion.

July was technically the first month of the 2017/18 financial year.

The period saw the Interior ministry receive Sh1.552 billion while the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission got Sh2.569 billion in the first month of the financial year.

The data shows that the Treasury withdrew but retained Sh8.79 billion which was meant for the devolved units in accordance with the County Allocation of Revenue Act 2017 which was assented to by the President.

“The schedule of disbursement [to counties] is yet to be approved by the Senate,” said Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich. “Accordingly, the National Treasury advanced the funds to some county movements to enable them pay salaries and provide essential services.”

Most of the government departments did not receive any cash in the first month of the year after the Kenya Revenue Authority collected Sh81.16 billion tax and got other incomes worth 115.33 million.

A total of Sh3.69 billion was issued for development expenditures in the national government departments while counties did not receive any cash.