Nairobi News


TIFA: Increase in petrol prices the biggest pinch to Kenyans

Kenyans say the move government to increase taxes on fuel and basic commodities will negatively impact on the cost of living.

As per a research conducted by Trends and Insights for Africa, (TIFA) indicates Kenyans believe the government should have considered the harsh economic times before adding tax on essential commodities.

The tax increase were containted in the Finance Bill 2023 that was overwhelmingly passed by Parliament.

“A clear majority mentioned a provision they consider as ‘worst’being the tax on all petroleum products,” said TIFA analyst Tom Wolf.

A number of Kenyans have however praised three provisions of the budget namely the education sector, housing levy and the subsidized farm inputs

The TIFA research was conducted between June 24-20, 2023, sampling 1,530 respondents from all the 47 counties. The respondents were interviewed via the Computer Assisted-Telephonic-Interviews (CATI).

Respondents have also praised the move by President William Ruto to subisidise farm inputs, and specifically fertilizer, in a move aimed at increasing production.

On June 26, 2023, President Ruto defied criticism from most quarters and signed into law the bill that raises taxation on a wide range of items.

Critics said the increase will pile more economic hardship on citizens.

Among the new tax measures include increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products from 8% to 16%.

All salaried Kenyans are also expected by the law to pay 1.5% of their salaries towards the Housing Fund, aimed at constructing affordable houses to Kenyans.

The research also shows a majority of Kenyans earn between Sh2000 and Sh5000 each month, a majority of whom are unable to save.

“Among the minority who are usually able to save anything, such funds are put to a wide variety of uses, the three most common being general saving/investment accounts to earn interest (19%), unexpected/emergency needs (16%), and education costs which are periodic rather than monthly,” said Wolf.

The opposition, led by Azimio leader Raila Odinga, have announced a resumption of protests aimed at putting pressure on the government to lower the taxes.

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