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The Kenya Finance Bill 2024 is a thorn on the flesh of  most Kenyans. I say this because there are a few elites who will obviously benefit. We’ll get back to that later.

 

The Bill has stirred a storm in the media houses, public spaces and private conversations across the nation. Kenyans are discussing the document with the hope that their views will be factored in before it is signed into law.

 

However, past experiences reveal that public participation is a rubber-stamping and futile exercise. The formulation of laws, policies and regulations is now left to the elites most of whom have lost touch with their constituents.

 

The Finance Bill 2024 introduces a series of new taxes such as ‘motor vehicle circulation tax’ among others and reviews some of the existing taxes to make them more punitive. The motor vehicle circulation tax will charge a minimum of Ksh. 5000 and a maximum of Ksh. 100,000 subject to 2.5 percent of the value of the vehicle depending on model, engine capacity and year of manufacture. The Commissioner of Taxes will come up with guidelines on vehicle valuation. This amount will be paid annually along the insurance cover of your vehicle.

 

Kenyans will find ways undervaluing their cars for insurance reasons and to avoid paying a lot under this tax. Insurers who fail to remit this tax will pay 50% of the tax plus the full amount of tax that was supposed to be paid.

 

Pundits have already observed that Ruto’s administration will milk Kenyans dry through heavy taxation. Soon there will be no incentives left to start and run a business in Kenya. Business people start enterprises with an objective of making a profit. If they do not see how that will be possible, they close business and that has implications on employment and capacity of government to collect more taxes.

 

Heavy taxes are likely to lead to fleeing of international investors from Kenyan soil. They will seek to establish their operations in countries with friendly tax laws.

 

The motor vehicle circulation tax and tax on bread proposals should truly make you angry because the two and many others will truly impact on you negatively. It’s going to be damn expensive to transport goods and people from one place to another. This is happening in the face of a chaotic and unreliable public transport system in Kenya. This tax would have been proposed after putting in place an efficient infrastructure system made up of railways and roads and airports reported with efficient operations. That way we will stop depending on motor vehicles and instead use public transport.

 

The Finance Bill 2024 proposes to tax exempt aircraft weighing between 2,000 – 15,000 kilos. This is a cluster of aircraft usually purchased by the ultra wealthy people in Kenya most of whom are politicians in Kenya.

 

Aircraft above 15,000 kilograms is likely to be a commercial plane. This specific items makes us believe that laws are made to protect the political class from the members of the public.

 

Politicians are an interesting lot, they seem to forget that some decade from now they will retire or be forced from their political cocoon when they will fail to be elected. These same oppressive laws that they are enacting now will come to affect them negatively. We will find them lamenting on how Kenya’s situation has changed for the worse.

 

Now they are rejoicing and telling us that if we do not want to pay the motor vehicle circulation tax that we should stop using our vehicles. That is allowance of the highest order.

 

We are also concerned about the intention to exempt Kenya Revenue Authority from Section 51 of the Data Protection Act. This will give powers to the tax authority to invade our privacy and process personal data for assessment, enforcement and collection of any taxes. This is a dangerous move which may lead to misuse of personal data including scrupulous characters at KRA possible sell of the data for profit.

 

Finally, on the issue of few beneficiaries of the bill as it is. It is obvious that this bill was drafted by Kenyans most likely working for the national key government agencies, ministries and other public institutions.  These Kenyans allowed their thoughts and actions to be influenced by some elites with vested interests.

 

Politicians who do not have the interests of Kenyans at heart will support the enactment of the Finance Bill 2024 or some other retrogressive bills. Recently, they told us that they are not able to do their work of reading proposed laws, bills, policies and regulations. These MPigs have researchers and personal assistants whom if well facilitated can do the heavy weightlifting for them.

 

Now we are left wondering that if they have no time to read documents, what do they do at the National Assembly or the Senate. Did we elect morons who cannot comprehend their job description? Just wondering!

 

We say no to motor vehicle circulation tax and other related retrogressive proposer tax laws.

End

 

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