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Ruto allies’ big U-turn in taxes

Ruto allies’ big U-turn in taxes

Just a few years ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta gave in to criticism after he proposed additional taxes on petroleum items. William Ruto and his team criticized the proposals as being callous.

The former opponents of increased taxes have now become some of its most vociferous advocates since Mr. Kenyatta left office and Dr. Ruto assumed the presidency, casting doubt on their sincerity on issues of national significance. Ordinary Kenyans would be subject to even higher taxes and levies under the 2023 Finance Act.

President William Ruto and top members of his cabinet have come under fire for previous statements and views due to the debate over contentious provisions in the Finance Bill and the debt load.

The fresh push to reinstate a 16 per cent value-added tax on petroleum products as well as introduce a housing levy have exposed President Ruto, some of his Cabinet Secretaries and lawmakers holding key positions in the majority side as masters of doublespeak.

Ruto allies’ big U-turn in taxes

For instance, in 2021, Dr. Ruto and a few of the CSs, who had previously served as MPs in the previous Parliament, vehemently fought the controversial fuel tax, causing then-President Uhuru Kenyatta to drop it and approve an eight percent tax in its instead.

 

Upon taking office, Dr. Ruto and his allies did a U-turn and convinced the Cabinet to approve a proposal in the Finance Bill 2023 that would have increased the current eight percent VAT on petroleum goods to sixteen percent.

 

Following a public outcry, this will now be handled through a parliamentary process in what is anticipated to be a heated debate.

Then, even as they attacked Mr. Kenyatta of taxing Kenyans more heavily, Dr. Ruto’s allies supported the Petroleum Products (Taxes and Levies (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intended to lower the VAT on petroleum products from the current eight percent to a low of four.

 

Following two requests to the House, the Finance and National Planning Committee of the National Assembly, which was then presided over by MP Gladys Wanga (current governor of Homa Bay), introduced the Bill.

Ruto allies big u turn in taxes

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