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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

MPs Contemplate Removing Select Taxes and Levies in Finance Bill 2024

The National Assembly Finance and National Planning Committee is reportedly considering amendments to the Finance Bill 2024, intending to remove several tax proposals.

These amendments encompass the elimination of contentious clauses, such as proposed taxes on motor vehicles, money transfers, internet services, the eco levy tax, and excise duty on bread and oil.

Reports indicate that these revisions were prompted by public feedback, which vehemently opposed the controversial clauses, denouncing them as punitive.

The committee acknowledged that the motor vehicle tax, in particular, had been widely criticized as inappropriate, prompting the government to explore alternatives like the road maintenance tax.

After a two-week public consultation period, the committee is poised to present its report to Parliament on Tuesday, June 18.

North Rift Politicians Defend Finance Bill 2024

Meanwhile, leaders from the North Rift Region have come out in defense of the Finance Bill 2024, asserting that it is crucial for generating revenue to support vital public services.

Despite concerns that the bill’s tax proposals could burden ordinary citizens, these lawmakers argue that it is necessary for ensuring Kenya’s long-term economic sustainability.

“There is a lot of misconception about Finance Bill 2024. I want to assure the country that it is for the good of the nation. We have to raise revenue so that we can run the affairs of this country,” affirmed Mosop MP Abraham Kirwa.

He emphasized that the recently unveiled Budget Policy Statement for 2024-2025 underscored the necessity of increasing revenue.

“We just read the budget of Ksh.3.92 Trillion. This is a lot of money we are anticipating to spend. To raise this money we have to pass this Finance bill so that we can get money to run the country’s affairs,” Kirwa stressed.

Supporting Kirwa’s stance, Aldai Legislator Maryanne Kitany acknowledged the economic challenges but emphasized the bill’s importance in enabling the government to fulfill its economic objectives.

“Even though times are tough, we must sustain ourselves. A self-sufficient nation is a nation that values itself,” noted Kitany.

Felix Koskei, Head of Public Service, echoed the MPs’ sentiments, assuring the public that taxes collected under the Finance Bill 2024 would be utilized transparently and efficiently.

“Once it (the Finance Bill 2024) is passed, the government will ensure that the taxes collected as a result will not be misappropriated or lost through corruption. We have agreed and the President has directed that we are not going to tolerate corruption in Kenya,” Koskei affirmed.

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