President William Ruto assents to the Finance Bill, 2023 at State House on June 26, 2023

President William Ruto on Monday assented to the Finance Bill 2023 after lawmakers approved tax measures aimed at raising the Sh3. 6 trillion budget.

Members of Parliament last Wednesday night passed President Ruto’s proposed Finance Bill, 2023.

This will be the first budget for the g Kenya Kwanza administration that has prioritized five pillars under the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda.

The Sh3.6 budget will be seeking to maintain a delicate balancing act between debt servicing and stabilizing the economy.

In the budget proposals, Sh1.5 trillion has been earmarked for recurrent expenditure, Sh718 billion for development while Sh986 billion will go into servicing public debt

The Bill passed after a third reading by theNational Assembly Finance and National Planning Committee chairman Kuria Kimani.

This now means Kenyans will have to dig deeper into their pockets, to fund Ruto’s first budget as Head of State.

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi and his counterpart from the National Assembly Moses Wetang’ula at State House on June 26, 2023

The Bill was passed even as the Opposition and the ruling party engaged in a heated debate, over the proposals it contains.

The Bill had 87 proposed amendments, some of which were approved last Tuesday, as the National Assembly debated them deep into the night.

Key among the proposals passed was the16 per cent value-added tax on fuel, up from 8 per cent.

At least 184 MPs—largely from Kenya Kwanza—supported the bill save for Githunguri MP Gathoni Wamuchomba, whereas 88 MPs—largely from Azimio—opposed the amendment.

The contentious Housing levy, which had initially proposed to be at 3 per cent was also passed after it was amended to 1.5 per cent of gross pay. It had been converted into a tax.

The initial proposal wanted the levy to be saving that Kenyans would claim after seven years.

Tax for digital creators will be charged at 5 per cent. This had initially been proposed to be at 15 per cent.

Other affected are Betting and Insurance withholding tax, which will be charged at 12.5 per cent and 16 per cent.

President William Ruto assenting to the Finance Bill, 2023 as leaders witness at State House on June 26, 2023.