• June 18, 2024
  • Last Update June 18, 2024 3:12 PM
  • Nairobi

Senator Cheruiyot defends proposed tax on bread

Senator Cheruiyot defends proposed tax on bread

By Patricia Mollyne Mataga

Senate leader of the majority Aaron Cheruiyot has defended the National Treasury over a proposal to remove bread from products that do not attract Value Added Tax (VAT).

The Treasury wants bread to attract a 16 per cent VAT. Currently, it is among those on the list of zero-rated products.

However, the proposal contained in the 2024 Finance Bill has sparked outrage and opposition from a section of Kenyans and political leaders.

But even as Kenyans continue to oppose the proposal, Senator Cheruiyot insists it’s the right decision to be made.

He argues that taxing bread will have a positive impact on many Kenyans who cannot afford the product daily.

“For bread to be tax exempted, it means Kenyans are benefiting at the expense of the majority who do not have a voice to say,” said the Kericho Senator.

The legislator went ahead to point out that a common citizen does not eat bread daily – hence the introduction of 16 per cent VAT on the product will not hurt the citizen at the bottom of the pyramid.

“We have people who have made it a habit of defending those with money but do not think about the common mwananchi. So when we’re discussing about Finance Bill, we all need to be very cautious,” he Cheruiyot said.

There have been fears that should the Treasury’s proposal be passed by Members of Parliament, the price of a 400-gram bread will increase by at least Ksh10.

Currently, the average cost of the bread is about Ksh60.

However, the Senate leader of the majority insists the debate on the Kenya Kwanza tax policies has not been sincere.

“This tax conversation is not sincere without taking into consideration Kenya as a republic. We must ensure we put in place policies to help reduce the cost of living,” he added.

The opposition has already rejected the Finance Bill with Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka warning that they might be forced back to the streets.

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