• May 19, 2024
  • Last Update May 19, 2024 1:10 PM
  • Nairobi

Ruto outlines plan to ensure Kenyans pay more taxes by end of his term

Ruto outlines plan to ensure Kenyans pay more taxes by end of his term

By Patricia Mollyne Mataga

President William Ruto is not about to give up on pushing Kenyans to pay more taxes, at least according to his latest announcement.

Ruto’s administration has been facing backlash from a section of Kenyans over tax policies that it has introduced.

And with Kenyans staring at yet another round of new taxes in the proposed Finance Bill 2024, the President insists more are to come.

He insists that he has always been clear about his urge for the country to be self-reliant, which means the focus shifts from external borrowing to local revenue.

“When I came into office, I told everybody to tighten up the belt. I said I’m not going to preside over a bankrupt country. I’m not going to preside over a country that is in debt distress. We have to cut our spending,” the President said.

“We cannot spend what we don’t have,” he added.

According to the Head of State, Kenyans are still paying less taxes than citizens of countries with the same level.

He revealed that his target is to ensure tax compared to GDP is increased to at least 22 per cent by the term he exits office.

“Everyone has been made to believe that they pay hefty taxes but empirical data shows Kenya as of last year, our tax as a percentage of our revenue was 14 per cent. Our peers on the continent are on average of 22 and 25 per cent which means our taxes are way below those of our peers,” Ruto said.

“I made a case to the people of Kenya that we must begin to enhance our revenue because if we’re a serious state,” he added.

Ruto added that Kenyans currently pay only 16 per cent of the taxes.

“I want in my term, God willing, to leave it at 22/24 per cent. People will complain but I know finally they will appreciate that the money we borrow from World Bank is saving from other countries,” he added.

There is already an uproar over a proposal to introduce a tax on bread as well as motor vehicles on top of additional tax for money transfers.

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