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Luanda MP urges gov’t to use Ksh1.12B to hire JSS teachers instead of renovating DP’s office

Sunday, June 9th, 2024 14:30 | By
Luanda MP Dick Maungu addressing the public. PHOTO/@dickmaungu/X
Dick Maungu addressing the public. PHOTO/@dickmaungu/X

Luanda Member of Parliament Dick Maungu has urged the government to reallocate Ksh1 billion towards hiring junior secondary school teachers and promoting current educators, rather than spending on renovations for the deputy president's office and residence.

This call comes in response to the 2024/2025 budget estimates, which propose that the Office of the Deputy President receive Ksh1.12 billion for renovations at both his Harambee Annex office and Karen residence.

DP's office

Patrick Mwangi, an officer from the DP's office, requested Ksh460.4 million for the Harambee Annex office renovations and Ksh660 million for refurbishing the Karen residence during a session with the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security.

"Instead of using one billion to renovate the Riggy G office, they should use it to hire JSS teachers who are currently at home. They should also use that one billion to give teachers a promotion," MP Maungu stated.

Maungu also criticized the 2024/2025 Finance Bill, stating, "The 2023/24 Finance Bill has been so painful to our people, but this 2024/2025 one is worse. That is why I am calling for amendments to some of the taxes."

Vihiga County Senator Godfrey Osotsi supported Maungu's sentiment and urged Parliament members to reject the bill, aligning with Raila Odinga’s stance that the Finance Bill 2024 would oppress Kenyans.

"Those of you in the National Assembly, let that bill not pass as it is, let it fail. Even our leader Raila Odinga spoke and said that the bill is bad, it will oppress the citizens. We are not against paying taxes, but taxes should be used to help the country," Osotsi stated.

The Finance Bill 2024 introduces significant changes to business and personal tax regulations. For businesses, it broadens the definition of digital content monetization and clarifies the term "donations" for tax deduction purposes. The bill also expands the scope of "royalty" payments, sets new withholding tax rates for goods supplied to public entities, and revises tax exemptions and penalties.

In the digital space, the bill redefines the digital marketplace to include ride-hailing, food delivery, and freelance services, with a new withholding tax on digital content and marketplace income set at 5% for residents and 20% for non-residents.

Tax changes

Personal tax changes include increased allowable pension contributions, revised per diem benefits, and the removal of outdated definitions. The bill also introduces international tax adjustments, such as a minimum top-up tax for multinational groups and a new Advance Pricing Agreement regime.

For Value Added Tax (VAT), the bill defines the time of supply for exported goods and eliminates the limit for VAT refund applications, among other changes.

The proposed bill represents a comprehensive overhaul of Kenya’s tax regulations, with potential impacts on both individuals and businesses across various sectors.

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