The Finance Bill 2024: The Betrayal Of The Famed ‘HUSTLER’ Comes Full Circle, The Pain Unbridled That Is KENYA KWANZA

By Steve Biko Wafula / Published May 12, 2024 | 6:05 am




KEY POINTS

On Tax Procedures Act Adjustments, Integration with KRA's system may become mandatory for certain taxpayers, enhancing real-time document submission and compliance monitoring. This will be interesting to see, given how haphazard new changes have been implemented.


Kenya

KEY TAKEAWAYS


The Kenyan Finance Bill 2024 proposes several tax changes, including a 16% VAT on bread, increased excise duties on spirits, a new annual motor vehicle tax, and a 20% excise duty on telephone and internet data services, mobile money transfer services, and fees charged for money transfer services.


Kenya, my beautiful country with so much potential, viewed philosophically, from the kaleidoscope of a jilted hustler, remains a series of slave camps, where we, the citizens – tax livestock – labor under the chains of illusion in the service of their masters, who use the Bible to berate us and in darkness, mock and laugh at our stupidity.

Frank Herbert in his book, Dune, once said that all governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Kenyan leadership is full of pathological, crude, greedy, incompetent, and stupid personalities that are led and guided by nothing else but their savage and unbridled carnal desires.

Frédéric Bastiat once famously said that when plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men and women in a society, over time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it. This is what Kenya Kwanza has done, without shame or remorse with its officials vomiting on us, showing off the fruits of their plunder as we drown in floods that are a mockery to our systems and infrastructure.

Read Also: Finance Act 2023 Remains Suspended, High Court Tells Ruto

Winston S. Churchill contended that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself by the handle. This is exactly what President Ruto is doing and the gullibility of Kenyans is not only nauseating but sickening because we have refused to reason and think and hold him accountable. We reason with our stomachs and cry with our brains and Ruto knows this and he takes advantage of it.

If Kenyans were really to be convinced of the illegitimacy of this government of Ruto, if we are to be convinced that the government is nothing more nor less than a bandit gang writ large, a plot of thieves who practice witchcraft to mislead the public, THEN the government would soon collapse to take on no more status or breadth of existence than another Mafia gang.

One thing is clear: The Creators of the 2010 CONSTITUTION never intended KENYA to be a country,  where its citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government. The Constitution gives us the power to say enough is enough. If you are with me, say Amen. The Finance Bill 2024 should not see the light of Day. The Bill should face cruel death now or we riot and burn the country because we have reached the end of our resilience to keep suffering under the guise of democracy.

Democracy in Kenya is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. The majority in Kenya are hungry, greedy, corrupt, and suffer from the syndrome of our person. The minority are the only ones that have kept the country from dissolving into oblivion at the hands of unprecedented theft.

Read Also: Ruto’s Leadership Style Has Given Birth To Transactional Democracy Which Has Given The Crime Syndicate An Opportunity To Govern Kenya

Have you read the Finance Bill 2024? I bet not. Let me tell you the issues that matter to us as ordinary Kenyans such as cars, content creation, and healthcare have been hit hard and deep, leaving us with no room to breathe other than to revolt. The following issues;

  1. Motor Vehicle Tax
  2. Digital Economy
  3. Medical & Housing
  4. Value Added Tax VAT
  5. Excise Duty takes center stage with the Finance Bill 2024 and it is unfortunate because the bill does not address the concerns and needs of us, the ordinary people. Instead, it paints a target on our backs and makes us victims of an evil, incompetent, and greedy administration that lacks empathy, reason, and a fair understanding of the business ecosystem.

Imagine a government that imposes the maximum tax on bread, a staple food for everyone, and exempts helicopters and their parts. A government that taxes maximumly a sector that is creating jobs for millions of youth and forgives the same taxes for those importing helicopters. Isn’t this government evil, greedy, incompetent, and above all, repugnant?

The Kenyan Finance Bill 2024 proposes several tax changes, including a 16% VAT on bread, increased excise duties on spirits, a new annual motor vehicle tax, and a 20% excise duty on telephone and internet data services, mobile money transfer services, and fees charged for money transfer services. These tax proposals target the mainstay of business and entrepreneurship and the overall welfare of the people. These tax proposals are simply a death knell to any legitimate business or entrepreneurship venture.

These proposals have sparked public criticism and concerns over the impact on the cost of living, with the majority of us highlighting perceived inconsistencies in the taxation of essential and non-essential items. This goes ahead to expose the incompetence of this government, yet they have alleged economic advisors who are being paid over 1B KES a year for 9 individuals, yet the inconsistency and incompetence of the tax proposals would be frowned upon by first-year economic students. Goes to show just how much in love this government is with incompetence.

Let me break these tax proposals for you so that you get a clearer picture as to why this is the worst administration in the world of democracy. The Finance Bill 2024 introduces the Motor Vehicle Tax.  The tax rate is set at 2.5% of the vehicle’s value. Makes me ask, when you buy a car, you pay duty on it, calculated at a certain % of the value of the car. So, why this annual taxation? Believe me, this will create a serious crime environment as we try to find ways to beat this tax and still be on the roads. They propose a minimum tax of KES 5k and a maximum tax of KES 100k. they propose that the calculation of the tax rate for the vehicle will be based on make, model, engine capacity, and year of manufacture. This is a tax proposal that is bereft of any thinking or logical reason in trying to move a country forward.

On Spectrum License, they propose a 10% investment deduction on capital expenditures for spectrum licenses by telecom operators. Watch as products and services become expensive as the quality of the same drops significantly.

On Medical & Housing, these greedy folks propose that contributions to the Social Health Insurance Fund, post-retirement medical funds, and the affordable housing levy will now be deductible expenses. This socialist behavior in a capitalist nation is a way for the thieves to have more cookie jars to steal from as they enjoy the suffering of ordinary people who cannot afford healthcare. They are deeply sadistic narcissists, led by their boss who uses the Bible to pull wool over our eyes.

On the digital economy, the mainstay of young people, who, unfortunately, voted for this government but seem to be on their own, suggest that operators of digital platforms or those monetizing digital content will face a 20% tax for non-residents and 5% for residents. The government has done nothing for this sector, yet they want to reap. Shows the indifference and lack of any business understanding.

On Family Trusts, they have proposed that any income of registered family trusts will now be subject to tax. You are left wondering, who is advising these fellows.

On Withholding Tax, the thieves propose that the bill introduce withholding tax on goods supplied to public entities at 3% for resident persons and 5% for non-residents. This will make the business of entrepreneurship more corrupt and repugnant.

The incompetent folks have proposed a Minimum Top-Up Tax, where Multinational groups with a consolidated turnover of KES 750M plus will face a new minimum top-up tax if their effective tax rate is below 15%. Because of this, watch as FDI and other investments look for better countries to accommodate them. As a result, watch as unemployment rises to over 54% across all generations.

These guys will not give us a break. Imagine the little money you have left from all the taxes that you want to invest will be targeted too. On Infrastructure Bonds, they propose taxing interest income from IFBs. This will simply drive people away from such investment avenues. This shows just how dumb and stupid they are in their reasoning, yet they are being led by an Oxford Professor of economics. We should call Oxford and ask them if indeed he was schooled there, because what is? Because any new IFBs issued will not be eligible for the previously available tax exemptions on interest income.

I am very disturbed by the VAT proposals in the Finance Bill of 2024 because, if they pass, life will be unbearable, especially for businesses and entrepreneurs. They propose that financial services such as credit/debit card issuance and forex transactions attract VAT at the standard rate of 16%. The other sticky VAT proposal is the proposal to delete the VAT exemption for betting, gaming & lottery services. This will cripple the industry. Trying to police the carnal desires of citizens is wrong, warped, and retrogressive. Life is going to be 32% more expensive because VAT exemptions on certain goods and services in tourism, manufacturing, and construction sectors are being removed, aiming to standardize the tax structure across different sectors.

Read Also: Let Us Allow President William Ruto To Rule For 25 Years, He Is The Savior We Need

But for those who voted for this incompetent government, I am happy at least we are going to suffer together on the proposed Excise Duty Changes, which propose that excise duty for the following to increase from 15% to 20%:

  1. Telephone & internet data services
  2. Money transfer services by cellular phone service providers
  3. Fees charged for money transfer services

The youth will suffer the most especially influencers and content creators as it will be expensive to curate content and post it but you will see some nincompoops being paid KES 527 a day to support this government. It is ALSO important to NOTE that more proposed changes on excise duty seek to extend the excise duty related to adverts on alcoholic beverages, betting, gaming, lotteries, and prize competitions at a rate of 15% to include advertisements on “the internet, social media”. Excise duty for the following proposed to increase from 12.5% to 20%:

  1. Betting
  2. Prize competition
  3. Lottery (excluding charitable lotteries)
  4. Gaming

On Tax Procedures Act Adjustments, Integration with KRA’s system may become mandatory for certain taxpayers, enhancing real-time document submission and compliance monitoring. This will be interesting to see, given how haphazard new changes have been implemented.

What I am relieved of ok with, although it’s a zero-sum game, given other tax proposals, is the reduction of the rate of the Export and Investment Promotion Levy, which is proposed to be reduced from a high of 17.5% to a max 3% on various items. The levy now also applies to vodka, cooking stoves, milk & cream of a fat content by weight of >1% but >6%.

These are just a few of the proposals that caught my eye and increased my pressure. I would like to urge every Kenyan who can read, to read the proposals and to show up at any public participation event and say no to these ridiculous proposals that are aimed at killing our businesses.

Ursula K. Le Guin, in their famous book; The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, said that it is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, and that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out to is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.” From this quote, it is clear that only we can save ourselves, and no one else and I pray that these tax proposals will anger us enough to get to this point to rebel and cry and bring forth a better government that is accountable to us, the voters and not IMF or the greedy stomach of some class 4 dropout.

Read Also: It Is The Responsibility Of The Minority To Ensure That Kenya Does Not Die Under The Idiocy Of The Majority




About Steve Biko Wafula

Steve Biko is the CEO OF Soko Directory and the founder of Hidalgo Group of Companies. Steve is currently developing his career in law, finance, entrepreneurship and digital consultancy; and has been implementing consultancy assignments for client organizations comprising of trainings besides capacity building in entrepreneurial matters.He can be reached on: +254 20 510 1124 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

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