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MPs set to support bill to remove VAT from basic food items

12 March 2014, 21:47 William Korir

Nairobi - Members of Parliament are ready to support a bill seeking to remove Value Added Tax VAT from basic food items.

The bill has been passed through the first reading and was up for it second reading Wednesday to choruses of support from Mps.

The Value Added Tax amendment bill has been mooted by Suba MP John Mbadi.

" This bill is important for Kenyans because they are suffering from the high cost of living and this will definitely help reduce the burden on them, he said.

" The eleventh house will always be remembered by Kenyans for supporting such a historic bill and this is the opportunity to do it, he said to cheers from the house.

The bill proposes the total withdrawal of VAT on Vegetables, Sugar and milk respectively if MPs choose to push it through when put to vote.

If it does go through as expected, the bill will reduce the tax burden on Kenyans already suffering from high costs of living.

Last year the government was forced to retract VAT from maize flour after Kenyans took to the streets to protest the increase in the basic food.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, while assenting to the VAT bill said it was necessary for the government to increase its revenue stream but added that basic commodities would not be taxed.

That however did not materialize, with Kenyans forced to take on the increased costs of life together with higher prices of fuel and other commodities.

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