The monthly cash transfer programme for the elderly has been allocated Sh5.1 billion only, an amount that will be spent in four months by the more than half a million persons enrolled on it.
About 523,129 had been registered by March, meaning they will require an annual allocation of Sh15.6 billion for the entire year including the Sh500 monthly pay for National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover.
This signals that Treasury will require a supplementary budget in the year to June 2019 to sustain the social scheme aimed at ending old age poverty.
The list of the elderly could rise further after the State extended the registration of those above 70 years in the hope of netting more senior citizens.
The extension pushed back the start of the payment to May 23 from the initial date of March.
The ‘Inua Jamii 70 years and above cash transfer programme’ is an enhancement of the previous scheme initiated in 2012 targeted at individuals aged above 65 and living in extreme poverty.
The 2009 National Census projected the 2017 population of older persons aged 70 and above at 973,000.
Better health care has seen life expectancy in the country rise even as the elderly lack pension plans.