Govt to Introduce New Levy to Fund School Feeding Programme

Govt to Introduce New Levy to Fund School Feeding Programme

Govt to Introduce New Levy to Fund School Feeding Programme

Belio Kipsang, the principal secretary for education, has disclosed plans to impose a new tax on select imported junk food items in order to finance the school feeding program.

During her Tuesday, June 11 appearance before the Departmental Committee on Education of the National Assembly, Kipsang disclosed that the Ministry was in discussions with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) over the potential implementation of a tax on imported junk food.

He explained in detail how the levy would be ringfenced to guarantee that all proceeds would go into the feeding program.

The PS clarified that the levy’s implementation was one of the tactics used to finance the program, which was facing budgetary difficulties.

“He revealed that there was a plan to push that 2.5 per cent of the country’s revenue be dedicated to the program.

“He further disclosed that the ministry was in negotiation with the Kenya Revenue Authority to impose a levy on imported junk food to be ringfenced to cover the national feeding program,” read the statement in part by Parliament.

More information, such as the charge rate and potential commencement date, was withheld, though.

Kenyans are known for consuming a variety of processed meats, such as bacon, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and sweets, in addition to sugary drinks.

Ripple Effect: As a result, food prices will skyrocket as a result of the levy.

Notably, one of the sectors that saw funding reductions in the upcoming budget was the school lunch program.

Compared to the Ksh5.4 billion in the current budget, Ksh3 billion has been allotted to the 2024–2025 program.

Therefore, it is anticipated that many students will gain from the plan to enhance funds through the fee.

“PS Kipsang however assured Members that in spite of the current challenges, as a member of the Global School Meals Coalition, Kenya was committed to achieving universal school feeding by 2030, by increasing the current coverage from 2.6 million to 10 million learners.

“According to the PS, the program which started in 1979 after the country was hit by a severe drought that affected 80 per cent of the population and resulted in school dropouts, had expanded gradually to cover a total of 2.6 million learners in 8,185 schools across the country as of 2024,” the committee reported.

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