Ruto assents controversial Finance Bill 2023 into law
Kenyans are staring at harsh economic times after the Head of State, President William Ruto, assented the Finance Bill 2023 into law on Monday, June 26, 2023.
The move comes after a majority of the Members of Parliament (MPs) voted in agreement with the controversial Bill which seeks to make a raft of changes to collect more taxes. The Bill seeks to amend 87 proposals.
The fundamental changes include the Housing Levy, which was slashed to 1.5 per cent from the initial 3 per cent and amended to become a tax. Similarly, the fuel tax was increased from 8 to 16 per cent. This takes effect on July 1, 2023.
According to the Kenya Kwanza regime, the Bill will finance the government's Ksh3.6 trillion budget for the financial year 2023/2024.
The approval of the Bill by the legislators followed a back and fourth agree to disagree moment with a section of the lawmakers from the opposition voting against it.
Led by Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, the opposition termed the Bill as punitive asserting that the Bill will be the downfall of the Kenya Kwanza regime.
"If by any chance this clause becomes part of the bill and the VAT on fuel is increased to 16%, this will be the saddest day in the history of this country. If by any chance this Finance Bill is passed and it becomes an act of Parliament, that will mark the beginning of the fall of this regime," Wandayi warned.