The year 2021 is here with us. In less than 48 hours, all of us shall be smiling and wishing each other a happy and prosperous new year of 2021. The year 2020 has been a tough one and people have been wishing that it is over and done with.
2020, many businesses in Kenya shut down. Stats from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics show that at least 2 million Kenyans lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19. The World Bank, on the other hand, says at least 1.9 Kenyans moved into extreme poverty.
During the year, all learning institutions were shut and for the first time in history, parents stayed with their children at home the longest. It has been a tough year and as it melts away, every Kenyan is hoping and praying that it does not come back.
But is the year 2021 going to be an easy one for Kenyans? Should Kenyans look forward to 2021 as a great year? Is the year 2021 going to be tougher than 2020? Are Kenyans aware of what is waiting for them on the other side under the Jubilee regime?
First, the government is broke. Civil servants are not getting their salaries on time and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) registered a hole of 125 billion shillings in revenue. The government is now relying on borrowing both within and without Kenya to survive.
The fact that the government is broke should make Kenyans scared. The government of Kenya is scheming to tax them to death. Already Value Added Tax is going back to 16 percent from 14 percent. Income tax goes back to 30 percent from 25 percent.
Starting this January, Kenyans should also know that the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) that is usually 30 percent of the gross income will now start from 32,333 shillings and not from the previous 47,059 shillings. This will hit hard on low-income earners.
This January, the Digital Services Tax (DST), the 1.5 percent on digital marketplaces in Kenya takes effect. Those buying and selling goods and services via online platforms are going to feel the heat and prices will either go up or businesses shut.
All students will be going back to school on January 4, 2020, according to the Ministry of Education under Professor George Magoha (Provided he doesn’t revert back to his usual confusion). Headteachers say they are not ready for the mass reopening of schools.
For parents, whose pockets have already been injured by Covid-19, paying school fees is going to be a problem.
So, is 2021 going to be any different?