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Mt Kenya leaders oppose more taxes in budget

Monday, June 10th, 2024 07:08 | By
Former Thika MP Stephen Ndichu speaks at the Salvation Army Church in Thika.
Former Thika MP Stephen Ndichu speaks at the Salvation Army Church in Thika. PHOTO Mathew Ndung’u

Political leaders in the Mt Kenya region have urged President William Ruto not to implement the punitive taxation measures proposed by budget makers in the Finance Bill 2024, warning that they will impede economic growth.

Parliament has approved a Sh4.006 trillion budget, the highest ever in Kenya’s history, a figure lower than the initial budget policy statement for the 2024/2025 financial year.

But Mt Kenya politicians, led by Thika ex-MP Stephen Ndichu, said new taxes will potentially make low-income citizens even poorer, while the Kenya Revenue Authority will miss its revenue targets.

The politicians told MPs to reject the proposals so as to save suffering Kenyans from being impoverished further.

About 13 million Kenyans, official data says, do not eat every day, a situation the politicians said could worsen if the contentious bill is adopted in its current form.

‘Impractical’

“If the bill is passed as it is, I am warning the people of Kenya that they will cry with one eye while closing the other,” Ndicho said. “The taxes proposed in the bill are impractical and unmanageable, unless the government seeks to kill the whole population. We are urging MPs to dismiss the proposals and stand with Kenyans.”

Taxing food that many Kenyans now don’t have enough of because of high prices would be detrimental, said politician Mary Kirika.

“The power belongs to the people. We urge MPs to go back to the villages and reason with their constituents before making unilateral decisions that will see them dethroned for subjecting them to torture,” Kirika said.

In the proposed budget, President William Ruto’s office will receive Sh5.1 billion, while his deputy Rigathi Gachagua’s office will get Sh4.8 billion.

State House has also been allocated Sh9.5 billion, with Sh275 million approved for the Cabinet Affairs Office.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi’s office was allocated Sh1.1 billion, while the Senate has been allocated Sh8 billion.

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