Those who smoke cigarettes and drink wines and spirits will have to dig deeper into their pockets to quench their thirst and feeling after the government slapped them with 15 percent excise duty.
In the new 2019/2020 budget, the government plans to raise excise duty on cigarettes, wines, and spirits by 15 percent as part of the proposed tax measures to fund government projects.
In the new taxes, a 750 ml wine bottle will cost 18 shillings more than the current price. A packet of cigarettes will on the other hand increase by 8 shillings from the current price.
“Excise duty on a 750 ml wine bottle will be 136 shillings. The duty on a bottle of whisky will go up by 24 shillings to 182 shillings for a 750 ml bottle while a packet of cigarettes will go up to 61 shillings,” said Rotich.
The government hopes to use the new taxes to fill the budget deficit that now stands at 607.8 billion shillings. Rotich says that the widening of the tax net is to reduce the government’s public debt which has remained a concern of many Kenyans.
The Wanjiku on the receiving end
Many Kenyans feel the 2019/2020 budget is not in favor of the Wanjiku. They feel the National Treasury failed to address the more urgent and pressing needs of Kenyans.
Kenyans feel the taxes imposed are tailored towards choking the already emaciated taxpayer who is struggling to make ends meet.
The government, for instance, failed to address the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities such as fuel and maize flour. For instance, the price of a 2-kilogram packet of maize flour increased by 30 percent from 85 shillings to between 115 and 120 shillings.
The prices of maize across the country have also increased tremendously with a 90-kilogram bag of dry maize averagely retailing at 3,600 shillings, up from just 1,800 shillings three months ago.