Excessive taxes in Kenya have been the outcry of many Kenyans since the assumption of duty by President William Ruto as the fifth president of Kenya since independence in September 2022.
The latest such cry is coming from Thirdway Alliance party leader, Ekuru Aukot who regarded the series of taxes as heavy taxation by the Kenya Kwanza administration which is making Kenyans poorer than they were before the Ruto administration.
He buttressed his point by analyzing that high taxes now kill small enterprises that over the years are the backbone of the Kenyan economy. Beyond the heavy burden on these businesses, it is forcing them to close down.
Excessive Taxes in Kenya: More Perspectives
Beyond the huge tax burdens that have led to the abrupt closure of businesses, the party chieftain according to his recent interview in the public space, these heavy taxes are causing a lot of anger among Kenyan citizens which he regarded as dangerous.
Way Out for Kenya
Beyond just highlighting the problems, Aukot suggested that the current administration must quickly look into debt restructuring, effective tax cuts, and cutting down on state spending.
See excerpts from his recent interview below:
“Raising heavy taxes is wrong. It is killing enterprises, making Kenyans poor, collapsing businesses, and generating stress and anger among Kenyans,” Aukot said.
“We need debt restructuring, tax cuts, targeted subsidies, cut down on wastage, reduce the size of government to a small efficient size, and stop the outflow of resources on foreign trips.”
Ruto Responds with Tax Cuts
Following the many reactions of Kenyans to the series of taxes introduced by the Kenyan administration, President Ruto recently announced the removal of taxes on all building materials.
Aside from alleviating the pains of the people, the is geared at ensuring affordable housing for Kenyans.
The taxes to be waived include the Value Added Taxes, VAT that have seen the cost of building materials go sky high preventing Kenyans the accesss of affordable housing.
The identified removal will be highlighted in the Affordable Housing Financing which will be gazetted by the Ministry of Lands in the coming weeks.
Taxes Since Ruto
Recall that since the arrival of Ruto as the president of Kenya, to implement his agenda as promised the people, several taxes have been imposed on Kenyans including a 1.5 per cent housing levy on gross salaries, a 5 per cent withholding tax on local digital content creators, and a turnover tax on enterprises making gross sales of between Sh1-Sh25 million.
Also, Another 16 per cent value-added tax on petroleum products, excise duty on gaming and betting and Pay-As-You-Earn tax bands at 32.5 per cent and 35 per cent for income between Sh500,000 and Sh800,000 a month and income above Sh800,000 respectively.
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