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Kenyans told to be prepared for high taxes to pay teachers

27 August 2015, 10:52

Kenyans have been asked to brace themselves for higher taxes as government seeks ways to raise KES 17 billion to pay teachers, after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Benson Makali, a Member of Parliament’s Budget and Appropriations Committee said teachers’ cry for a pay rise has lasted for long, and it is time that they should get it.

“Kenyans should be prepared to support teachers and also be prepared to cough more from their resources to have them paid,” Makali said in Nairobi on Wednesday.

According to Makali, there are other options that will be considered to help the government raise the required cash that teachers are demanding before schools open early next month.

“By raising taxes, the government will scare away investors and also make the lives of Kenyans difficult.

“It would have been good if we could get the money from our development partners, which is difficult. If we borrow, we will worsen the public debt, and a supplementary budget will affect development spending,” Makali said.

He called on Treasury to come up with a best proposal that will enable the government raise the cash without destabilizing the economy.

“Treasury should handle this issue carefully so that Kenyans are not meant to suffer financially because of this payment. We should also take care of the economy of the country,” Makali said.

He also warned of a spiral effect after making the payment to teachers.

“The government should also consider a spiral effect after making the payment. Doctors, police and other workers might stand demanding for a pay rise once this payment is done,” Makali said.

The ruling that awarded teachers a 50-60 per cent salary increment left the government with no option but to look for ways to pay teachers by September 3 to avert a looming strike when schools open for third term.

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