, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 2 – The 16 percent increase of VAT on fuel products imposed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has elicited strong reactions across the country.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi pointed out that this will push the cost of living higher in an already harsh economic climate.
He stated this will further increase the inflation rate in the country, cause loss of jobs and even slow down the economy.
“This will make life difficult for Kenyans and especially the ordinary Kenyan who should be cushioned and not condemned to misery by Government policies,” he said
He expressed the need for the government and all other relevant agencies to come together and explore other ways of raising revenue.
“The rise in tax on petroleum products has the overall net effect of condemning a majority of Kenyans into poverty as they are forced to dig deeper in their pockets,” he stated.
The Motorists of Kenya Association Chairperson Peter Murima further disapproved the VAT on petroleum products saying it will affect Kenyans negatively.
“We are very sad today to wake up to increased fuel prices regardless of Parliament Law and the Petition the Motorists’ Association presented to CS Treasury and National Assembly. As a body synonymous with representing the best interest of motorists in general, we wish to register our anger towards the Minister of Finance Henry Rotich action,” he stated.
The Non-Governmental Organization Council in Kenya called on the Government to review the oil prizes to avoid over burdening the citizens.
National Chairman Stephen Cheboi stated that the move to affect the current taxes increase will impact negatively on the lives of Kenyans and make lives harder to many.
“We appeal to Government to reconsider the decision and find other avenues of raising taxes rather than affecting what will make lives of many citizens hard,” he stated.
He called on the government to hold stakeholders’ consultation on the subject so as to find other alternatives and the best way to handle the tax situations.
“We further call on the Government to ensure the taxes collected are utilized to the best of interest and its citizens.”
Motorists will from Sunday pay more at the pump after the Energy Regulatory Commission issued new fuel guidelines with Petrol now costing Sh127.80 per litre in Nairobi from Sh113 per litre while a litre of diesel will now retail at Sh115 and kerosene at Sh97.
ERC Director General Pavel Oiemeke stated that the prices will be reviewed if the Finance Bill is signed into law, pushing the enactment of the VAT for two more years to 2020.