Kenya Politics

Kenya’s president signs into law controversial taxes

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Friday he had signed a new finance bill into law, officially introducing a series of new taxes, including one on fuel, which have caused widespread anger.

They include a tax on gambling and an unpopular 8% on fuel.

There was a chaotic debate in parliament on Thursday evening, where the bill was eventually passed by MPs.

Correspondents say many Kenyans are sceptical about the new taxes because of the high level of corruption.

President Kenyatta tweeted on Friday morning that he would ensure public resources were used properly “for a better Kenya” and that he would “not relent on the war against corruption”.

“I have signed into law the Finance Bill 2018. I give my commitment that I will ensure proper utilisation of public resources for a better Kenya. I will not relent on the war against Corruption,” he stated.

There was drama in Parliament Thursday afternoon following a bitter dispute between MPs who voted for and against the proposal.

The majority of MPs opposed to the eight per cent value added tax on petroleum products alongside others, were shrewdly defeated by denying the National Assembly the requisite two-thirds majority (233) required to override the President’s recommendations on the Finance Bill 2018.

The controversial vote meant besides the fuel tax, salaried workers will hand a fraction of their pay to the Government to finance a housing project, mobile phone users will incur additional duty and bank transfer costs as the Jubilee administration struggles to plug a budget hole created by rising expenditure and shrinking revenues.



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