Alcohol/ Ugali, Which One Should Be Taxed More?
By Caroline Tsumah
The debate on matters debt in Kenya do not seem to end soon. Especially when the country’s debt ceiling has no limit of the heights it could be raised.
This is according to Philip Mutio, Program Coordinator Social Justice and Economic Accountability at Transparency International. He was speaking during a Coast Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) training held at Pride Inn, Paradise Hotel in Mombasa County on Friday.
Should Kenyans be worried?
“Yes, we should. And the only way we can save the country from too much borrowing is through organizations such as the Human Rights defenders. If not that, then up until our country’s credit rating is overstretched.” Said Harriet Wachira, Program Coordinator, Policy, Legal & Institutional Framework, Transparency International Kenya.
In February 2021, Kenya’s debt ceiling rose from Sh6trillion, to Sh9 trillion, which lawmakers raised beginning October 2019. This is after the public debt had already crossed Sh7.26 billion mark.
Between April 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021, Kenya took a total of 10 loans totaling Sh293.55 billion. This is according to information from National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani presented to parliament last year.
In an interview with local media in January 27, Prof. George Wajockoyah, a presidential aspirant, said he will legalize bhang so as to improve the country’s economy, once elected as the Head of State come August 9.
“Some leaders are opposed to marijuana saying it is bad yet some of them steal public funds and take advantage of the poor people in the society.” Said Wajockoyah.
Then this poses the question, must Kenya resort to such strategies in the name of improving our economy?
Can the country not come up with better strategies to ensure companies in Kenya to pay tax without evading?
Or, should the government continue to increase tax on consumable goods?
“Because when the government cannot get the big fish, they come for you via VAT since we can’t avoid it.” Said Mr. Francis Kairu, Policy Officer, Tax & International Financial Architecture at Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA). He is campaigning to source more buffalos that will help fight against tax injustice in Kenya.
Food for thought!