Understanding the Finance Bill 2024: A Baddie’s Perspective

By Joe Aura

As the clock struck 3 pm on June 13th, 2024, all eyes and ears across Kenya turned to Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u, who was set to deliver the highly anticipated 2023/2024 National budget. This annual practice of Kenya’s fiscal policy, carries immense weight, especially this year, as the government outlines its plans to tackle the nation’s pressing economic issues. For students at our university and the youth at large, the Finance Bill 2024 poses critical questions about our financial futures and the broader economic landscape.

In the hours leading up to the budget announcement, social media platforms buzzed with speculation and hope. Many Kenyans, particularly those in agriculture and small businesses, hoped for measures to ease their economic burdens. The government’s anticipated expenditure of Ksh.3.9 trillion, up by Ksh.200 billion from the previous year, had everyone questioning where this additional funding would come from and who would bear the impact of the increased spending.

Critics and supporters alike saw this budget as a pivotal moment for President Ruto’s administration. His Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), which promised to lower the cost of living, is under scrutiny. The stakes are high, and for university students and the youth, the implications are both immediate and long-term.

The Budget Process: From concept to reality

Understanding the budget process provides a clearer picture of how these decisions are made. According to Citizen TV ( it begins with the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), a three-year outlook on government revenue and expenditure, guided by the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). Sector Working Groups then prioritize key policies, which are reviewed and included in the Budget Review and Outlook Paper (BROP). This comprehensive document is submitted to the Cabinet for approval by September 30th each financial year, incorporating public participation and feedback along the way.

The Role of Social Media in Public Participation

This year, public participation has taken new forms, with social media platforms playing a crucial role. On Twitter (now X), influential personality Amerix spearheaded the #RespectMyHustle campaign, urging Kenyans to call their Members of Parliament and demand the rejection of the Finance Bill. His message was clear and resonated deeply: “60% of your income goes to the taxman. Whom are you working for? You are working for the state. You are a slave. Refuse to be a slave.”

The movement quickly gained traction, with thousands of Kenyans sharing phone numbers of MPs, flooding their lines with calls and messages demanding action. Influential figures like Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro found their contact details widely circulated, with citizens urged to remind them of their duty to represent the people’s interests.

The Bill’s Impact on University Students and Youth

For university students, the Finance Bill 2024 is more than just numbers on paper—it directly affects our wallets and our futures. One of the most contentious aspects is the proposed tax on digital content monetization. With the digital economy flourishing, many students earn income through platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and other social media channels. The proposed 20% tax on non-residents and 5% on residents threatens to slash our earnings, stifling creativity and entrepreneurship among young digital content creators.

Moreover, the bill includes a housing levy and increased NHIF contributions, adding to the financial burden. For a fresh graduate earning Ksh.50,000, here’s a stark breakdown:

Gross Salary: Ksh.50,000


PAYE: Ksh.14,280

NHIF: Ksh.1,620

NSSF: Ksh.1,080

Housing Levy: Ksh.1,428

Take Home: Ksh.29,192

Living expenses—rent, food, transport, and utilities—quickly consume this amount, leaving little for other essentials like clothing, recreation, or emergencies.

According to Natalie Cowling’s report (Sep 22, 2023) on university enrollment in Kenya from 2017-2023, around 563,000 students registered for the academic year 2022/23. New taxes will apply to graduates above the age of 25 who do not have their own income or live with the contributor. The proposal highlights , these persons will be compelled to pay KSh 300 every month.

The Finance Bill 2024 forces us to confront some uncomfortable realities. Some students and their care givers are already juggling tuition, accommodation, and daily expenses. Adding new taxes and levies makes us question how we will survive and thrive in this challenging economic climate. The visible anxiety is evident in the heartfelt posts and tweets from our peers.

For instance, one user lamented, “Kitambo baddies walikua wanajua tu President, Deputy wake, Raila na Najib Balala kwa government. Siku hizi wanajua hadi CS wa agriculture juu ya incompetence,” highlighting how deeply economic issues are now understood even by those previously disengaged from politics.

Moving Forward: What Shall We Do?

As we navigate these difficult times, it is critical that we remain informed and engaged. Platforms such as Kelvin Onkundi’s Finance Bill GPT ( enable us to learn more and engage in important discussions. There are even creative story themes expressly designed for folks who believe their Instagram pages are too visually appealing to post about social activism and collective action. Understanding the bill’s ramifications allows us to better fight for our interests and hold our legislators responsible.

It is important to highlight that today’s proceedings were simply reading the budget. The Bill will not be voted on until a later date, and it must include public engagement before being passed. According to a publication by the National Council for Population and Development, Kenya has a young population, with more than 80% of the population aged 35 and under. We have the power to influence the policies that affect our lives, whether through social media activity or direct contact with our MPs. The Finance Bill 2024 may seem overwhelming, but it also provides a chance for us to band together and demand a more equitable, inclusive economic future.

5 thoughts on “Understanding the Finance Bill 2024: A Baddie’s Perspective”

  1. Mardeline Albright

    The finance bill for this year is heartbreaking. I’m a student but I feel the pain….I only have my sister who’s taking care of everyone at home, including my dad who has been on wheelchair for the past 20 years, mum lost her job last year and now she’s the one to take care of everyone…. including Meds, diapers for dad, food, my school fees, and other necessities. Tell me how we’ll survive if the bill get passed….how will she even Carter for her needs? This is too much and the government should consider the Citizens more than their pockets. There’s no need to work for the rich yet you are dying in poverty and frustrations in the name on “being a tax payer”. May the Lord help us

  2. The government should really consider us as the citizens… What happened to the mama mboga and Boda Boda initiative? How do they expect them to live if the bill is passed on?… A very informative piece.

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