By Empraim Njega
Just finished reading the memorandum by the Uhuru on the Finance Bill. It is a shame the media is just focusing on the 8% VAT on fuel. In the 20 page document the president has made ten recommendations as follows;
1.Definition of betting winnings to include the full payment without subtracting the expenses of the winner. Winnings to be taxed at 20%
2.Reduction of petroleum VAT from 16% to 8% and its implementation date changed from September 2020 to September 2018. Calculation of VAT not to include excise duty, fees and other charges.
3.Motor Vehicle Excise Duty of between 20% and 30%
4.Sugar confectioneries including white chocolate at Sh 20 per kg
5.Telephone and internet data services excise duty at 15% of excisable value (up from current 10%)
6.Money transfer services fees Excise duty at 20% of excisable value (up from current 10%)
7.Other fees charged by financial institutions Excise duty at 20% of excisable value (up from current 10%)
8.Reduction of lotteries, betting and gaming taxes from 35% to 15%
9.Housing Development Fund tax to be paid by the employee at 1.5% and employer at 1.5% of the monthly basic salary. Penalty of 5% for employer who fail to submit the contributions
10.Adulteration levy on kerosene at the rate of KShs 18 per litre. Disel and Kerosene to cost the same to end adulteration
I heard a man being interviewed about the impact of VAT on fuel by a TV station. He says that the kerosene he can now afford to buy is no longer enough to finish cooking a meal. So he cooks the vegetable stew and takes the ugali half cooked.
As MPs vote on this issue on Thursday let them know the impact on Kenyans is very direct and dire. Let them remember what it means for those who voted for them. Let the words of their party leaders mean nothing in view of the pain their voters are going through.
Giving Jubilee more money is like collecting water using a sieve.