Orengo pleads with MPs not to betray Kenyans ahead of Finance Bill debate
Siaya Governor James Orengo has urged members of parliament to shoot down the Finance Bill 2023, saying Kenya Kwanza government's tax increase proposals will overburden Kenyans.
Speaking during the burial of Patrick Obuong’ Wandare in Gem Constituency on Saturday, June 3, 2023, Orengo urged MPs to consider the public outcry on the controversial Bill when it is tabled in parliament this month.
Orengo asked the legislators not to betray Kenyans who are grappling with the effects of inflation.
“Kenyans who donated power to the MPS are pressed up with the many taxations and they are waiting to see if those they entrusted with positions abandon them during the hour of need,” Orengo stated.
“Let our brothers from the National Assembly debate and decide as per the plea of the public."
Orengo warned that the proposed law would plunge the country into more problems if approved without amendments.
"They (legislators)must listen so that we have in the amendment Bill. When we have amendments then it will be possible to support economic growth," he added.
“We shall remain glued on National television next week to see how those who abandoned Azimio Leader Raila Odinga will be debating on the finance bill adding that the MPs should put aside their interests and priorities Kenyans.”
Orengo is a member of the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition that has vowed to opposed the Bill in the National Assembly.
Earlier, Azimio leader Raila Odinga termed the Bill as punitive, insisting that it does not spur economic growth or generate wealth.
"The bill unfairly punishes a diminishing middle class... The most tangible result of this bill will be the incorporation of more Kenyans into the poverty class," Raila said last month.
President William Ruto continues to push for the approval of the Bill despite opposition from public sector worker's unions and other members of the public.
The unions have also warned of industrial action should Parliament approve the tax measures that workers fear could reduce their disposable incomes. Union leaders yesterday argued that if passed, the Bill, which seeks to increase deductions on public servants’ pay, will burden the workers.
Besides increasing deductions for health insurance and retirement savings, the Finance Bill has also proposed to impose a three per cent housing levy — to be capped at a maximum of Ksh2,5000 monthly – to finance a housing scheme that the government has said is meant to create jobs and spur economic activity. The government has also proposed to review Value Added Tax on petrol from eight to 16 per cent, which applies for all goods and services.
Those opposed to the proposals, led by officials of unions representing teachers and nurses among others, last week held a peaceful demonstration in Nairobi to reject some of the proposed taxes and levies contained in the Bill.