Uhuru's proposed cut on fuel tax to 8% 'still disastrous' to Kenyans, says Mbadi
2 months ago, 14 Sep 21:46
National Assembly Minority leader John Mbadi has downplayed the 50 per cent cut in fuel VAT saying it is "still disastrous to the ordinary Kenyan".
He said the National Super Alliance will oppose the reduction which now puts the tax charge at 8 per cent as proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday.
The Suba South legislator said they have called for a NASA parliamentary group on Tuesday to deliberate on the same.
MPs have been recalled from recess for a special sitting on Tuesday and Thursday with an agenda of dealing with the president's reservations on the Finance Bill, 2018.
The lawmakers passed the Bill amending the Finance Act, 2013, on August 30 before proceeding for their recess.
This was to suspend implementation of the 16 per cent Value Added Tax on petroleum products which was effected on September 1.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich's announcement saw an upward adjustment of fuel prices to almost Sh130 in most parts of the country.
Increase in cost of fuel translated into higher bus fares, and to a large extent, increase in costs of household consumables, a situation that has sparked rage among Kenyans.
Mbadi said they will rally behind Parliament's earlier proposal for a zero per cent VAT on petroleum products for the next two years.
"We shall not agree to the recomendation by the President because Parliament had recommended that we suspended the VAT on fuel completely."
The legislator spoke on the sidelines of the retreat of the National Assembly and the Editors Guild at Serena Hotel, Mombasa.
He said that following the President's televised announcement, "it is now obvious that he (President Uhuru) still wants the VAT on fuel to be charged."
"What I want to say as the Leader of Minority is that whether at 8 per cent, 12 or 16 per cent, VAT on fuel products is ill-advised."
He said the total tax on fuel products, adding excise duty and fuel levy, adds to almost 50 per cent.
"We are not accepting any more taxation on fuel," Mbadi said.
In his message, the President reached out to traders to reduce cost of goods since following the governments relief in cutting the tax to 8 per cent.
"I expect them not to take advantage of Kenyans and to lower their prices without any delays," he said.
Uhuru said Kenya still faces funding gaps adding that this measure will not balance Kenya's budget as required.
"I have proposed cuts in spending across arms of government on hospitality, foreign travels, seminars and other similar categories," he said.
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