By James Wafula in Nairobi.
The NGO council of Kenya has appealed to President William Ruto to shelve the proposed 16 percent VAT fuel levy saying it will worsen the already high cost of living and create a big burden to Kenyans battling to survive.
In a press statement issued May 8, 2023 at his Nyayo house offices in Nairobi, council chairman Stephen Kipchumba Cheboi said the harsh living conditions Kenyans are facing could worsen to uncontrollable levels if the state proceeds with the tax on petroleum products which retired President Uhuru Kenyatta had shelved.
But Cheboi welcomed the move to tax high wage earners like MPs, ministers, and MCAs saying they earn huge income while they create no wealth for the country only being a burden to tax paying wananchi.
“Those in high earning brackets should accept to be taxed so the country can be able to pay wages for the bloated county governments, support the agricultural and manufacturing sector, and external debts that are already weighing the country’s economic growth” Cheboi said.
He said the government must also expand its domestic tax bracket by vigorously targeting landlords and the real estate who are notorious for tax evasion when their huge income is not subjected to any levy.
“As a council with countrywide membership we urge the government to consider low income Kenyans and shelve the planned new tax on fuel as it virtually drives the prices of every commodity upwards.”
He said the country was in good hands as rightly expressed by the IMF and the UN but introducing taxes in the next budget could be a step in the wrong direction for many poor Kenyans living from hand to mouth■