Don’t overtax Kenyans, Unaitas boss urges state

Unaitas CEO Tony Mwangi during the AGM at Kenol on Friday /ALICE WAITHERA
Unaitas CEO Tony Mwangi during the AGM at Kenol on Friday /ALICE WAITHERA

The new taxes introduced by the government will hurt the financial sector, Unaitas sacco CEO Tony Mwangi has said. He said the excise duty introduced in the Finance Bill 2018 will diminish disposable money in Kenyans’ pockets.

The CEO urged the government to consider reviewing the new taxes that are aimed at increasing revenue collection to finance the budget. Mwangi cited the Robin Hood tax of 0.05 per cent imposed on bank transactions that he said may prompt Kenyans to “physically transfer money from one point to another to avoid it”. He spoke during the sacco AGM at Kenol on Friday. The government also imposed taxes of up to 15 per cent on mobile money transactions that most financial institutions have been capitalising on. Mwangi said though revenue is essential to run the country, the government needs to employ more innovative tax collection measures.

“We need to have a conversation on how to increase tax collection without overtaxing some sectors while there are so many businesses that are not being taxed,” he said. The aggressiveness of the tax collection sector needs to be diversified and its management enhanced, Mwangi said.

He said Unaitas, which is 25 years old, has assets worth Sh16 billion and expects it to grow to Sh20 billion in 2019. The sacco has 25 branches countrywide, with its most recent being opened in Kisumu city.