UDA MP Owen Baya warns Azimio not to disrupt Parliament when Finance Bill is debated
A United Democratic Alliance (UDA) lawmaker has warned the government will be have to pass the Finance Bill 2023 by force if the opposition causes chaos in Parliament.
As the controversial bill draws mixed reactions, Kilifi Member of Parliament Owen Baya put the opposition on notice stating it should table its proposals in the assembly during the debate instead of heckling and shouting.
The lawmaker stressed that Azimio should offer its input instead of criticizing without solutions.
“Azimio should criticize the Finance Bill 2023 as it offers solutions at the same time. In case it causes chaos during the discussion motions, Kenya Kwanza lawmakers who are the majority will pass it by force,” Mr Baya cautioned.
The Finance Bill proposes an increase of Value Added Tax (VAT) on most basic commodities, including petroleum products from the current 8 per cent to 16.
VAT on petroleum products was introduced in 2017 by the previous administration led by the retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and the current head of state, Dr William Ruto while serving as the deputy president.
Though the Parliamentary Committee on Finance led by Molo MP Kimani Kuria has reviewed some of the Finance Bill 2023 proposals that raised an uproar, Azimio la Umoja has vowed to use all available channels and systems to revoke it.
The amendments include housing levy to be deducted from every employee from 3 per cent to 1.5, and taxation of digital contents from 15 per cent to 5.
“Azimio should cease from causing chaos in parliament, and resolve to bring their proposals during the debate,” Mr Baya, who is also deputy majority leader, said on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.
The bill will be tabled in parliament this week.
President Ruto is lobbying his lawmakers to pass the controversial bill, which has largely been criticized by Kenyans, workers’ unions and human activists.
The passage of the bill is said to trigger an upsurge on the already soaring cost of living.
Further taxing petroleum products is expected to impact pricing of basic commodities.