• “In the event that Kenya Kwanza uses its hired majority and passes the Bill as it is, we want the people of Kenya to understand that it is Kenya Kwanza’s Bill.
• The Finance Bill, 2023 proposes a raft of tax measures that will have a major impact on Kenya’s digital content creators and users of artificial beauty products like fake nails.
Azimio has thrown the spanner in the works to rally its members in Parliament to thwart all efforts to pass amendments to the Finance Bill 2023.
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna said on Monday Azimio and its members will do everything humanly possible to ensure the Bill flops on the floor of the House.
“We wish to make it clear from the outset that as a party, we will try our best to ensure that this anti-people budget is not passed by the National Assembly,” he said.
This, may however, prove to be arduous task for the opposition outfit considering their Kenya Kwanza counterparts are the majority in both houses.
The development comes even as workers' unions continued to decry implementation of the planned tax regimes and urged Parliament to reject the proposed amendments in the Bill.
The Finance Bill, 2023, stipulates the revenue measures the Kenya Kwanza government wants to implement in the next financial year, starting July 1.
Last week, the National Treasury submitted the Bill to the National Assembly for processing ahead of approval of the 2023/24 Budget estimates.
“In the event that Kenya Kwanza uses its hired majority and passes the Bill as it is, we want the people of Kenya to understand that it is Kenya Kwanza’s Bill. It is Kenya Kwanza’s budget. It will be Kenya Kwanza strangling Kenyans. We will instruct our MPs to have nothing to do with it,” Sifuna said in a statement on his Twitter handle.
On Sunday, the Kenya Universities Staff Union secretary general Charles Mukhwaya said once passed, the Bill will see total deductions from employees' monthly earnings shoot up to 52 per cent.
Mukhwaya said already as is, the statutory deductions are overburdening workers.
These include NHIF, NSSF, PAYE and Housing Fund levy among others.
He pointed out that public servants' salaries are protected by the law yet over taxation was going on unabated.
"...with a remaining net of 48 per cent still subjected to 16 per cent VAT for every purchase of goods and services, whose prices as we know are ever increasing," he added.
He said the unions have resolved to consider taking industrial action should their demands not be met buy the government.
Among their demands is that the government reduces the taxes imposed on workers.
On Monday, Parliament invited Kenyans to submit their views on the Finance Bill by May 20.
The law requires that the government first tables proposals on how it will finance its budget before the estimates are tabled in the House.
The Finance Bill, 2023 proposes a raft of tax measures that will have a major impact on Kenya’s digital content creators and owners of platforms that facilitate the trading of digital assets.
The proposals include a 15 per cent withholding tax on payments related to the monetisation of digital content.
There are fears this will significantly impact the thousands of young people who make their living in the digital space.
The Bill also proposes a five per cent tax be imposed on wigs, false beards, eyebrows, eyelashes, switches and other beauty products including artificial nails.