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VAT Bill under Parliamentary review

13 March 2014, 10:33

Nairobi - The National Assembly has started debating the Value Added Tax (VAT) Amendment Bill in a bid to reduce the cost of living.

The Bill which has been sponsored by Suba legislator, John Mbadi, elicited heated debate in the house as legislators discussed it.

Mbadi said the amendment was intended to mitigate the high cost of living experienced in the country due to the high prices of basic commodities due to being subject to taxation.

“It also seeks to cushion farmers from high prices of critical farm inputs by exempting those inputs from taxation thereby making them affordable and in turn stimulating growth in the agricultural sector which is a critical sector in the economy,” said Mbadi.

Esther Gathogo urged fellow legislators to consider the amendments saying that many people had suffered as a result of the passing of the Bill by the MPs.

However Tetu legislator, John Gethenji, had opposed the debate saying Parliament must be cautious in its approach because the amendment sought to reduce the government's revenue collection.

The legislation comes at a time when there is ongoing public debate on the ballooning wage bill which has been termed by the President as a tough debate and by the Deputy President as a serious issue.

The wage bill debate looks at reducing the public servants’ salaries in order to increase the percentage of total revenue that went towards development.

The VAT Amendment Bill on the other hand seeks to reduce taxation in order to ease the burden of high cost of living from Kenyans by reducing the cost of basic commodities. The wage bill debate has elicited much public debate and is expected to culminate in the formulation of a wage bill policy in April.

The policy would guide the management of the national wage bill.

– CAJ News

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