Taxing Kenyans more right now is like trying to milk a dead cow. Kenyans have been taxed enough and what has remained is hopelessness and pain.
It is IMF that wants Kenyans to pay 16 percent on maize flour. It is them that want Kenyans to pay heavy taxes on bottled water and other basic commodities.
It is them who somehow convinced the National Treasury that imposing additional taxes would get them at least 50 billion shillings annually and help in paying the many loans that we have as a country.
Last week, the Finance and National Planning Committee in the National Assembly rejected the punitive proposed taxes on maize flour, wheat flour, cooking gas, beer, wines, and spirits. For once, the MPs stood with the people. With the common man.
If the Bill had been allowed to sail through in its original form, maize, cassava, and wheat flour would have been subjected to the 16 percent VAT, a move that would have seen the prices of the commodities skyrocket further hurting the already-torn Kenyan pockets.
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With millions of Kenyans wallowing in poverty and with the high cost of living across the country, the Committee not only gave Kenyans a reprieve but also saved millions of small businesses that would have shut their doors as a result. But, will the joy last for a minute?
It seems the actions of the Committee did not sit well with some of “our international partners”, more so; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, who would rather see us sink in debts and choke in taxes. Although they have brushed off “allegations” of them pushing for MPs to increase the taxes, from the way they walk, act, and quack like ducks, they are ducks.
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There are reports from reliable sources that members of the Committee might be receiving threats following their stand and rejecting the punitive taxes. The truth is the taxes were being pushed by the IMF and the World Bank. They seem to be living under the notion that Kenya can only pay its loans by heavily taxing its poor citizens.
It is IMF that wants Kenyans to pay 16 percent on maize flour. It is them that want Kenyans to pay heavy taxes on bottled water and other basic commodities. It is them who somehow convinced the National Treasury that imposing additional taxes would get them at least 50 billion shillings annually and help in paying the many loans that we have as a country.
There was a time Kenyans protested about the many loans that IMF has been giving our government. The majority of the loans end up in individual pockets through massive looting that has become the signature tune of this government. The truth is, the government borrows massively, misuses the same, and expects poor Kenyans to pay through the nose.
Taxing Kenyans more right now is like trying to milk a dead cow. Kenyans have been taxed enough and what has remained is hopelessness and pain. Businesses are shutting down en masse as a result of the high cost of doing business brought about by high taxes and corruption.
No nation has ever developed by massively taxing its people. The government needs to wake up and realize that the fact that few individuals in government swim in our stolen taxes does not mean that every Kenyan and business has money.
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Members of Parliament have a solemn duty to stand with the people this time. This coming two months to the general election, they either stand with the people or prepare to be voted out. It is time we showed them that we are the people and that power belongs to the people. Any Member of Parliament who will vote for a tax increase on maize flour or any other commodity should be voted out.