Jalang’o to content creators: Kitawaramba! You brought this problem to yourselves
Lang’ata MP Phelix Odiwour better known as Jalang’o has faulted content creators for the digital tax proposed in the Finance Bill 2023.
In a video on his YouTube, Jalang’o said he has no defence for the content creators since they are well known for their flashy lifestyles.
Sampling lavish lifestyles of the likes of Eric Omondi, Mulamwah, Oga Obinna, Natalie Tewa, Vincent Mboya, Mungai Eve, Njugush, Abel Mutua, Nicholas Kioko, Akothee, Amber Ray, the Bahatis and the Wa Jesus family, Jalang’o said their opulence cost them.
While some have risen to where they are through content creation, Jalang’o noted that he could not justify how content creators are making millions and cannot afford the 15 per cent tax.
“You people brought this to yourself and I’m not lying to you, the government will not relent. What we need to do is come together and ask ourselves how much we are willing to make to pay or how do we tell them that maybe sometimes we are just flossing,” he said.
“Being a content creator, it is been so hard for me to face this panel and tell them that you are not able to pay these taxes. What I think you should come up with is a proposal, a counteroffer of what you are able to pay because the government is not going to stop at anything until you people pay,” the MP said.
The debate comes exactly a week after President William Ruto, while speaking during a National Drama Festival concert at State House Nairobi, heaped praises on content creators Timothy Kimani aka Njugush, and Edwin Butita for leveraging YouTube to make money.
“These two gentlemen are great people. Don’t just see them wearing T-shirts and think that they don’t have money. These two young men are making more money than my salary,” the President said.
President Ruto then directed Parliament’s Finance and ICT Committee to take a second look at the clause on taxing digital content creators in the proposed Finance Bill, 2023, and loosen it up a little bit for the youth to keep earning a decent living through their crafts.
“I know there is a proposal in this year’s budget on digital content and creators… I have told the ICT and Finance committee to work on it. Let’s them give a bit more space, let us allow them wajipange alafu baadaye si sisi wote tutalipa ushuru,” he added.
The Finance Bill 2023, which has been widely criticised by the Opposition and the general public, has proposed a 15 per cent withholding tax on income generated from digital content.
“A person who is required to deduct the digital asset tax shall, within 24 hours after making the deduction, remit the amount so deducted to the Commissioner together with a return of the amount of the payment, the amount of tax deducted, and such other information as the Commissioner may require,” the Bill proposes.