The government has been urged to shelve the 2023 finance bill and introduce it later when the economy recovers.
Meru Chamber of Commerce Chairman Joshua Kirimi Mungania said the bill will add extra burden to the already suffering Kenyans who are over taxed.
He advised President Ruto to concentrate on the recovery of the economy instead of always blaming the former regime.
Mungania said introducing the bill is tantamount to punishing Kenyans noting that many traders will be in trouble due to the bill.
“Let the bill be shelved until the economy stabilises. Kenyans are already suffering and introducing the bill now is equivalent to punishing them. Let President Ruto concentrate on the economy recovery instead of blaming the former regime. We shall start paying the taxes when the economy recovers,” said Mungania.
He appealed to the government to rethink about the issue because people are facing a lot of problems currently.
Mungania called on the MPs majority of who are allied to the current regime to shot down the bill once it gets to the floor of the house.
“We elected you to represent the common man and we are keenly watching you over the bill. I advise you to shoot it down.We should first have enough food to eat and educate our children before paying the taxes.Priority should be given to basic items,” added Mungania.
He said the bill demands one to contribute 3% to a housing scheme and wondered if Kenyans will pay money to build a house or first educate their children and feed.
“What is the guarantee that the house will be built after the government receives the money. They claim it’s voluntary though they are forcing us. It is a form of taxation because the government is making it compulsory,” noted Mungania.
He regretted that people are even unable to feed themselves especially after sugar and flour prices skyrocketed.
He noted that last month alone six houses were locked down in Meru town after the business owners failed to raise rent.
Mungania said the government also wants to increase petrol levy by 8% meaning the price will go up to about Sh 200 per litre.
“When petrol prices increase all other commodity prices will increase by 8%. Even the tertiary and university students will have to pay fees in future.
NHIF and NSSF have been increased. Kenyans are currently overburdened,” lamented the official.
He said though it is good to pay taxes, people should be allowed to pay want they can afford.
“Stipends for the elderly have not been released since last December and we wonder where that money is going. The treasury is not releasing funds to the counties thus endangering the devolution,” said Mungania.
By John Majau
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