Gatundu South lawmaker Gabriel Kagombe proposes 300% increase in alcohol prices
A Kenyan lawmaker has suggested the cost of alcohol should increase threefold.
Gatundu South Member of Parliament, Gabriel (GG) Kagombe, stated the 300% increase would cushion Kenyans against the alcohol menace currently witnessed in several parts of the country, and especially in Central Kenya.
According to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party allied lawmaker, it’s not just food and basic necessities that should bear the brunt of the skyrocketing commodity costs. Rather, the impact should extend to luxuries like alcohol.
In a message posted on his socials on September 21, 2023, Mr Kagombe hinted that the government would propose an increase in taxes imposed on alcohol and liquor. This will in turn increase the prices of the commodities.
“This cost of living conversation is getting confusing. As the government, we will now propose to spread the effects across the board. Consumable alcohol is the next logical source of revenue generation. We can increase collection to half a trillion from the current 3Sh0 billion, by tripling the price of a bottle of beer, whisky and wine,” the MP wrote on his official Facebook page.
For instance, he suggested that a minimum price for a bottle of Tusker should be set at Sh600, while imported liquors such as Gin should be priced at Sh15, 000.
A bottle of beer currently retails at between Sh250 and Sh300 at entertainment joints.
“We will see how to incorporate this in the finance bill,” Kagombe stated.
His statements come barely two months after the controversial Finance Bill 2023 was passed by the National Assembly and subsequently signed into law by President Ruto.
The Finance Act, which proposes an increase in taxes and levies on basic commodities, has been challenged in court by the opposition, led by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah, civil rights organizations, and workers’ unions.
It proposes an increase in several taxes including VAT on petroleum products, alongside a special levy of 1.5% on all salaried Kenyans, with the proceeds channeled towards construcing affordable houses for Kenyans.
Following the enactment of the bill into law, Kenyans have already begun to feel the impact of the soaring cost of living, particularly due to the 8 per cent to 16 increase in VAT on fuel.