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Ruto defends Finance Bill

President William Ruto has defended the Finance Bill 2023, saying his government has engaged Kenyans and explained the need for the increased taxes.

Speaking at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Molo, July 2, 2023, the Head of State suggested past governments did not see the need to explain to Kenyans the need to increase taxes.

“This year, 2023, is when Kenyans heard for the first time there is something called a finance bill. But I want to inform everyone that finance proposals have been there in past administrations,” observed the President Ruto.

He went on to explain: “Previous regimes have been introducing it and passing it without engaging the public. For us, we decided to make it public.”

The Head of State said he was surprised when he heard Kenyans questioning why he decided to introduce the bill at a time when the country is going through a financial crisis.

“Some even asked, where did Ruto get this finance bill from?” wondered the president.

“However, since my government believes in the rule of law by consulting Kenyans, I decided to make it public instead of doing things behind the curtains.”

Finance Bill 2023 was tabled in the national assembly in June, discussed and passed with most proponents being Kenya Kwanza lawmakers.

The bill which Dr Ruto has since signed into law, introduces numerous new taxes alongside increasing VAT on fuel from the previous 8 percent to 16. The government has also imposed a flat 1.5% tax on all salaried Kenyans to be channeled towards an affordable housing program.

The move according to the economic analysts, will trigger an upsurge on the already soaring cost of living.

Already, the price of petrol has increased by Sh13 as a result of the increased VAT tax. ​

Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has moved to court to challenge the bill and was granted temporary orders seeking the government to stop its implementation.

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