Budget Options for 2011/12 and the Medium Term produced by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
The policy options highlights are:
- Public sector expenditure should contract. Indeed, the traditional focus on additional resources to finance expenditure requirements should revert to expenditure switching policies such as: Finding savings through reduced spending on non-core functions and activities such as catering, cleaning, maintenance & other welfare services and shifting resources from administrative components to frontline services.
- Enhancing revenue: The government should consider reducing compliance requirements such as number of forms and returns in order to enhance voluntary compliance while at the same time establishing a strong enforcement presence.
- On debt management, any additional resources should be channeled towards reducing of debt which is slowly ballooning.
- To improve the quality of health care and health infrastructure, the government should shift the emphasis and resources to promotive care from curative care, address specific social needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities especially those at risk of environment related health challenges, increase public education programmes aimed at promoting behavior change and encourage hygiene standards and a shift in policy to partnering with the private sector in provision of health care.
- On enhancing quality of basic education and skills development, there is need to sustain investment in skills training at post primary level, invest in areas with probable high returns like ICT and research and improve affordability of education through development of public private partnerships, community participation especially in the provision of school infrastructure and empowerment and competitive funding.
- To improve agriculture, government should invest in a strong irrigation infrastructure to reduce dependence on rainfall, invest in rural road infrastructure and institutionalize input-cost reduction by supporting establishment of farmer led and owned input supply and distribution facility.
- On infrastructure, government could invest in a mass transportation system, provide affordable housing units by linking the national pension system to the housing subsector and modernize/expand sea-port facilities.
- On energy, there is need to focus more on geothermal and reduce dependency on hydro-power, enhance energy efficiency through legislation and eco-efficient patterns of production and consumption and generally focus on policies likely to reverse climate change.
- On public order and safety, there is need to rationalize recurrent expenditure so that more money goes into development, speed up enhancement of law enforcers’ welfare and enhance border security to deter aliens, proliferation of small arms and weapons and protect border towns from external attacks.