Finance Bill: Treasury proposes scrap of annual inflation tax adjustment
The National Treasury has proposed a scrap of the yearly inflation adjustment inflation on specific excise taxes in new measures meant to make the duty more predictable for manufacturers and consumers.
President William Ruto’s administration has proposed to repeal Section 10 of the Excise Duty Act through the Finance Bill 2023.
The Bill which has been tabled in Parliament outlines the various revenue-raising measures by the government to finance the 2023/24 budget.
Scrapping the annual tax adjustments comes as a much-needed relief for Kenyans who are already battling high taxes and generally high cost of living.
This has been quite a debate for a while.
Manufacturers have been at the forefront of campaigns against the annual adjustments through their body Kenya Association of Manufacturers.
They have argued that the tax adjustments go against the Government’s intention to reduce the cost of living, support agriculture through agro-industry value chains, support the growth of SMEs and create jobs for Kenyans, especially the youth.
With import costs increasing due to the weakening Kenyan shilling, the annual tax increase significantly impacts on mwananchi, who is already overburdened by the ever-increasing cost of living.
Currently, fuel prices have reached a historic high, with a large portion constituting taxes and levies, resulting in a high distribution cost and further increasing the price at which a consumer buys the locally manufactured product.
The inflation adjustment shall also stifle small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are the backbone of job creation and our economy at large – SMEs are one of the government’s key focus areas. The proposed adjustment shall stifle their growth due to reduced cash flow as they will be forced to absorb inflation adjustment to remain in business.
The government has been urged to develop policies with long-term economic goalsas opposed to short-term goals aimed at raising revenue without considering the impact of such policies oncitizens and the economy.
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