Enforce austerity rules

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich on Wednesday announced measures meant to cut the government’s ballooning recurrent expenditure.

The measures, which include cutting non-essential budget items such as travel, conferencing, printing, and advertising, are expected to save taxpayers at least Sh4 billion.

This is not the first time that the CS is making such an announcement.

Unfortunately, past efforts did not yield outstanding results as they were either ignored or lacked legal back-up.

Last year Mr Rotich announced a cut in the pay of the executives and top managers of parastatals and other government agencies.

It turned out that the directive could only be implemented on a voluntarily basis as the law did not provide for pay cuts, and even when a person volunteered, it was their discretion to return the money once it had been paid into their account.

The decision to stop purchasing Mercedes Benz vehicles with high fuel capacity only made way for Toyota Prado, with an even higher consumption, making nonsense of the intention to cut costs.

Mr Rotich’s latest announcement, good as it may sound, must be followed up with action if it is to be of any use.