Kenya: Religious Leaders, Teachers Fault Govt’s Proposed Finance Bill

Nairobi — Religious leaders and secondary school teachers have raised concerns over the government’s plan to raise taxes through the proposed Finance Bill 2023.

The reservations have been raised by the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET).

ACK Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit said the majority cannot afford the tax increase recommended by the bill.

“While we acknowledge the fact that the high of cost of fuel, and high inflation in the country have been caused by a myriad of factors including global trends, we are concerned that the Government has by default resorted to increasing taxes to snowball revenue collection,” he said.

Meanwhile, KUPPET Makueni County Executive Secretary Justus Kimeu said that many teachers have taken up loans to construct houses, so they cannot afford additional taxes.

Only a few days ago, President William Ruto’s Economic Adviser David Ndii and Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said that the state was only left with two options: to either borrow more or raise taxes.

If passed, the bill will have a negative impact on digital content creators and owners of digital asset platforms.

The bill proposes a 15 percent withholding tax on payments related to the monetization of digital content, which will significantly impact the thousands of young people who make their living in the digital space.

Also, any person who receives rental income on behalf of the owner of the premises shall deduct tax and, within 24 hours, remit the amount to the taxman.

It is also seeking to introduce a tax on human hair, eyelashes, switches, and artificial nails in a move that will raise the prices of these beauty products, whose usage is on the rise.

The Finance Bill 2023, if passed the way it is, will see total deductions of up to 22 percent of one’s monthly earnings, with the remaining 48 percent still subjected to 16 percent VAT on all goods and services bought, whose prices are ever increasing.

The rising cost of living makes a public service employee a slave who cannot afford a decent life.

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