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February 23, 2019

High VAT shows state, lawmakers have failed us

Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot. /FILE
Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot. /FILE

We are disappointed with the government because of the false political promises it made to Kenyans in the 2017 polls to lower the cost of living.

Secondly, we are also disappointed with Parliament because it has failed to represent the electorate and check government.

Instead, Parliament has become a gathering of conspirators to cause more harm to the very electorate who mandated them to represent their concerns, including the cost of living.

Parliamentarians have slept on the job and what they know best is how to reject reports identifying who is corrupt and increase their salaries at the expense of hardworking people.

Kenyans are now suffering because of a lazy, incompetent and bloated Parliament, which recently tried to shift blame to the President when it was our Parliamentarians who overwhelmingly passed that law.

Thirdly, we the electorate must be equally blamed because we are directly responsible for this government and the parliamentarians who have failed us.

Our party delivered a petition to National Assembly clerk on August 16, urging Parliament to amend the VAT Act No 35 of 2013 and classify petroleum products VAT exempt. We aimed to ensure that petroleum products do not attract VAT, hence, averting the current cost of living.

We submitted a memorandum to Parliament on April 29 this year, opposing provisions of the Tax Laws Amendment Bill that proposed changing the VAT status of LPG, unga, agricultural pesticides and processed milk from zero-rated to exempt status.

Theft of public money has increased the cost government over five years.

Our analysis of public funds stolen from the CDF, counties and national governments shows it amounts to Sh648.4 billion over three years to 2015-16.

The poor and wasteful nature of county and national governments' financial management has sunk this country into the current financial crisis. Although the Auditor General has ably listed thieves of public money from both levels, the Executive and Parliament are yet to act. Instead, they impose tax on poor Kenyans.

The leader of the Thirdway Alliance spoke to the Star

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