A section of members of parliament from both the ruling jubilee party and opposition NASA are adamant they will defy their party official position on the controversial finance bill and vote against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s proposals.
They maintain that Kenyans are already overtaxed and that they will stand with the people. They spoke even as wiper party leaders joined President Kenyatta and Raila Odinga in backing the proposals.
If MPs vote in favour of Uhuru’s new tax proposals, the Government will be handed the carte blanche to raid Kenyans’ pockets further to whet growing appetite for cash.
The cost of living is likely to go up despite President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to reduce the punitive fuel tax by half.
Sending money via mobile money transfer service will be more expensive should MPs pass the sweeping tax proposals by the President. It will also be painful withdrawing cash from an ATM, transferring money from your bank account into your mobile money wallet or just depositing a banker’s cheque for your child’s school fees after the Government proposed doubling taxes on all bank as well as mobile money transactions.
Time spent on Facebook, Whatsapp or Twitter will be more precious, as tax changes will see the cost of Internet bundles go up. Cries will also be heard in rural areas as Uhuru increases the tax on kerosene, making cooking and lighting for millions of poor rural folk an expensive affair.
Sweets and chocolates have not been spared, as the Government moves to plug a Sh600 billion budget hole. The radical proposals were introduced after the President halved the controversial 16 per cent fuel levy to calm growing public outrage. The President also cut spending on key development projects.