Kenya: Odinga Opposes Ruto’s Tax Plan, Asks Azimio MPs to Resist Finance Bill

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Nairobi — The Azimio La Umoja Coalition leader Raila Odinga has described plans by the Kenya Kwanza government to raise taxes as punishment to Kenyans.

Speaking in Nairobi on Monday, Odinga argued that despite Ruto’s promise to lessen the burden of low income earners, he has made the situation worse.

“The Bill is a promissory note to strangle and suffocate the hustlers from whose necks Ruto promised to remove the rope,” he said.

Additionally, he said Azimio lawmakers will not spare efforts to ensure President William Ruto’s tax proposals under the Finance Bill 2023 which he labelled as “anti-people” do not sail through in the National Assembly.

“We want the people of Kenya to understand that it is Kenya Kwanza’s Bill, it is Kenya Kwanza’s budget, it will be Kenya Kwanza strangling Kenyans, we will instruct our MPs to have nothing to do with it,” he stated.

Odinga called for the immediate suspension of non-essential government expenditure.

He singled out appointments of Chief Administrative Secretaries, continued hiring in public service and expenditure on “political operations” disguised as relief food distribution or fundraisers among wasteful initiatives.

Odinga also called for reduction of domestic and international travel, conference and workshops, freezing of ministerial out of station allowances, ministerial house allowances and domestic allowance for cabinet and principal secretaries as well as effective anti-corruption efforts to tame wastage.

“Kenyans cannot be taxed to the bone just because of Kenya Kwanza’s internal weaknesses,” Odinga added.

Odinga highlighted Turnover Tax, Income tax adjustment, Housing Fund, digital economy taxes, Tax appeal tribunals, taxation of reimbursement, taxasion of trade associations, increased VAT payments, excise duty on imported cement and tax on beauty products among proposals Azimio lawmakers will reject.

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