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Punitive Tax Systems Are A Burden To Common Mwananchi And Investors

Kenya National Tax Outlook Survey 2021 warned in its findings that punitive tax systems can force large companies to leave and take thousands of jobs with them living many Kenyans Jobless. The East African Tax and Governance Network (EATGN) report states that more than half of respondents believe the tax system is unfair because the poor pay too much in taxes as compared to the Rich. A growing number of Kenyans are frustrated with the country's ever-expanding tax structure, according to a new study that predicts tough months as Kenyans go to the polls in August 2022. It was also noted that the current state of affairs for looting by state employees and highly connected individuals, including lawmakers and politicians is very high.The report identified a lack of knowledge of the proposed taxes as a barrier. Out of a total of 1,525 respondents who took part in the survey, half of the respondents described the current tax system as unfair, 23% considered it fair, 19% and 8% respectively considered it very fair or uncertain. National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani in June this year presented a budget of 3.6 trillion shillings for the 2021/22 fiscal year - which, through the 2021 budget law, introduced a tax on added value (VAT) of 16% on the supply of ordinary bread and increase the excise tax on motorcycles to 15%.As the economy stalls and investments decline mainly due to the existence of the coronavirus pandemic, Leonard Wanyama, EATGN coordinator, urged the government to reconsider changing its fiscal policies and make them aware of it. "Despite the fact that these recently proposed taxes have a major impact on relevant issues in the lives of Kenyans, more than half of the population polled were unaware of them," he said, adding that only a quarter of those polled can remember the tax proposals.In terms of employment status, the majority, 53 percent, were unemployed and 32 percent were employed in the informal sector. “Although these new taxes touch on issues related to the daily life of Kenyans, it appears that more than half of them, based on the research results of a sample interviewed are unaware of these tax proposals, ” the report says. All these tax measures are a burden to the common mwananchi who feel betrayed by its own government. Its high time for the government to look into these tax systems and come up with decisive measures that wont only save our economy but also make it grow and create employment for its citizens while attracting more investors into the country.

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