• Rights defenders under NGO consortium urged Coast MPs to rally colleagues in Parliament to ensure the Bill fails, otherwise they take to the streets.
• Led by Nicolaus Ongora, they threatened to mobilise residents to camp and demand food from the houses of MPs who supported the Bill.
Coastal rights groups have threatened to camp at houses of MPs who pass the Finance Bill 2023 and beg for food.
They also said if it passes, they will challenge it in court.
They warned Coast MPs on Wednesday not to pass the Finance Bill as they addressed a press conference at a hotel in Kwale.
NGOs said the Bill will bring more harm to Kenyans and Coast residents would be most affected since the majority depend on small-scale businesses that would be overtaxed by the Bill.
The rights defenders under the coastal consortium of NGOs have urged Coast MPs to rally colleagues in Parliament to ensure the Bill fails.
Led by Nicolaus Ongora, they have threatened to mobilise residents to camp and demand food from the houses of MPs who will vote for the Bill.
"All eyes on our Coast MPs. If they ever support the Bill, we will protest by taking the hungry and overburdened citizens to their doorsteps to provide for them," he said.
They said they would also challenge it in court.
Ongora said the proposed Finance Bill is doom for the low-earning people, who are the majority.
He said the Kenya Kwanza government should devise sound policies to ensure citizens are socioeconomically empowered through job creation resources for investments.
Ongora said overtaxing the already weighed-down Kenyans is injustice of a high degree.
The Bill poses a great threat to jobs and will discourage investments. It will widen the gap between the rich and the poor, he said.
Taxing struggling and stressed digital content creators will worsen the unemployment crisis.
Proposed tax measures include withholding tax, excise duty on gaming and betting, 16 per cent on petroleum products, raising the rate of tax applicable to permanent establishment of foreign entities.
It also would require a three per cent salary deduction for housing funds, five per cent on wigs and other beauty products, a 20 per cent deposit would be required in case of a financial dispute, 35 per cent tax on PAYE income above Sh500,000, among many other measures.
On Sunday, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) announced increased fuel prices.
Halima Mohammed of the NGO consortium said higher fuel prices are already affecting ordinary citizens.
She said small business people are suffering because all the profits go to transport expenses.
"Some citizens earn as little as Sh100 per day. How will they survive with the rising cost of fuel?" she asked.
Shamsa Abubakar Fadhil said about 59 per cent of women at the coast are single mothers and solely depend on businesses the government will cripple by increasing taxes.
She said the proposed Finance Bill means nothing but ruin of the lives of Coast women and other Kenyans who depend on small hustles.
Fadhil said the government has already failed Kenyans with its promises of the bottom-up economic model.
"What happened to the bottom-up agenda? Why is the government hurting the same hustlers it promised to support?" she asked.
She said 50 per cent of local businesses in fresh produce and wholesale markets are operated by Coast women.
Fadhil said rising fuel taxes and other levies will hinder women trying to fend for their families.
"Hiked fuel prices and more taxes will suffocate women's businesses that are already suffocating because of financial constraints," she said.
She faulted the government's move to lower the cost of cooking gas, saying only a few Kenyans use gas fuel. Households use charcoal, firewood and paraffin and their prices have risen.
The move benefits the rich, who can afford cooking gas but not the hustlers.
Mwalimu Ali said Kenyans are not ready for the Finance Bill as it would contribute to their suffering because they are already overtaxed by county and national governments.
(Edited by V. Graham)