NAIROBI, Kenya, May 1- COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has called for a tax exemption on incomes ranging between Sh24,000 to Sh100,000 in government’s COVID-19 relief plan.
Atwoli who was speaking during an event to mark Labor Day celebration at State House Nairobi, appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to consider enhancing cuts that cushion workers from the coronavirus pandemic which has slowed down the economy.
“Consider extending your offer for workers for tax exemption from those who are earning Sh24,000 to Sh100,000,” he said.
According to Atwoli, the majority of the distressed workers are part of the labor union who will contribute to the recovery plan post coronavirus.
“Most of the workers remain to be union members such as the doctors and nurses who are essential service providers because they are the one who will rebuild our economy,’ he added.
In his response to Atwoli’s appeal, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the government will explore alternatives in a bid to ensure tax measures are not harmful to the country’s economy.
“We will try our best and see what we can do as a government, but a country cannot survive without paying taxes, we have even tried to cut food prices and other necessary needs for our citizens,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 25 outlined various tax interventions the government intends to cushion the country against the economic effects of Covid-19.
The tax cuts were approved by the National Assembly and are currently being implemented by various corporates and businesses.
The new tax measures target low-income earners and included a 100 percent tax relief of Pay As You Earn for those earning less than Sh24,000 per month.
Employees earning more than Sh24,000 are now getting a reduction from 30 percent to 25 percent on the same.
Additionally, the parliament also cut the value-added tax rate to 14percent from 16 percent, which has reduced prices of essential goods, that can easily be afforded by low-income earners.