MP Robert Mbui likens controversial Finance Bill to drum of poison

Wednesday, June 14th, 2023 15:20 | By
MP Robert Mbui likens controversial Finance Bill to drum of poison
Deputy Leader in the National Assembly Robert Mbui. PHOTO/Courtesy

Kathiani Member of Parliament Robert Mbui on Wednesday unleashed a scathing attack on President William Ruto's Kenya Kwanza administration over proposed measures seeking to widen the country's tax base.

Addressing the National Assembly during the debate on the Finance Bill 2023 tabled in the House yesterday, the opposition legislator said the proposed law will overburden the taxpayer if passed.

Likening the Finance Bill to a drum of poison, Mbui urged his colleagues to shoot down the Bill, noting that the country's economy is in a dire situation.

"This is the most contentious Finance Bill, I look at it as a drum of poison," the MP said.

"Kenyans are struggling. Azimio went to the streets because somebody needs to start caring for the hustlers."

The Deputy Leader of Minority in the National Assembly also took issue with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's remarks that the taxation pain is temporary, saying the sentiments remind him of the Shakahola incident, where more than 300 people starved themselves to death in religious heroism.

"When you tell us that you want Kenyans to feel pain now and enjoy later, it reminds me of Shakahola. We don’t want our hustlers to die," Mbui added.

The opposition has whipped its members to reject the Bill in its entirety despite several concessions by the Kenya Kwanza counterparts.

Top of the concessions made in the amended Bill is the Housing Levy contribution by employers and employees which has been reduced from 3 to 1.5 per cent.

The Finance Committee also slashed withholding tax for Digital Content Creation from 15 to 5 per cent.

20 per cent VAT on Gaming and Betting has been reduced to 12.5 per cent while the mandatory 20 per cent of the contested amount deposit to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for lodging Tax Appeal has been repealed.

TAX Rental Income has also been reduced from 10 to 7.5 per cent.

Despite the objection, the government insists the Bill will pass because of its numbers in the House.

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