Wednesday, May 31, 2023 – The Housing levy proposal in the Finance Bill 2023 has caused a fierce uproar among the public and the opposition, evoking a sense of outrage and discontent.
This audacious proposal put forth by the Government will burden employees with an additional 3% tax on their hard-earned monthly income, accompanied by an equal contribution from their employers, all in the name of constructing affordable houses.
While this controversial proposal dominates public discourse, it conveniently overshadows several other provisions within the Finance Bill 2023 that possess the potential for far-reaching consequences, which have unfortunately been overshadowed by the deafening noise surrounding the Housing Levy.
One of these insidious provisions is a foreboding increase in the price of fuel, which could surpass Ksh 210 if the Finance Bill 2023 successfully secures approval from parliament. This bill shamelessly attempts to overturn a decision made in 2018 to provide relief to Kenyans, where the Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel was reduced to 8 percent.
However, if this bill receives the green light in Parliament, the VAT on fuel will skyrocket to a staggering 16 percent.
Consequently, the price of fuel in the country will surge by over Ksh.13 per litre, based on prevailing prices.
Below are some of the proposals in the Finance Bill 2023 that, if implemented, will undoubtedly compound the financial woes of already struggling citizens
Proposed VAT rate changes in the Health sector.
Proposed VAT rate changes in the Construction and Energy sectors.
Services – Proposed changes to excise duty rates and introduction of new items (to tax). 15% excise duty on fees charged for advertisements.
Milk – specially prepared for infants is currently exempted from VAT) but the plan is to charge 16% VAT.
It is deeply disheartening that the government, entrusted with the well-being of its citizens, would resort to such Machiavellian tactics to extract additional funds from an already burdened population.
This brazen disregard for the hardships faced by ordinary Kenyans exemplifies the government’s detachment from the grim realities of everyday life.
The Kenyan DAILY POST.