THE CUTTING EDGE

With the 16 per cent fuel VAT, direct taxation should be scrapped.

IN SUMMARY

  • The National Assembly is squarely to blame for the introduction of the VAT on fuel.

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TAX BURDEN: With the 16 per cent fuel VAT, Mohammed Fazal Hussein is convinced that direct taxation should be scrapped. Says he: “As a Kenyan, I have been charged indirect taxes on banking transactions, food and beverage and now VAT on fuel, the highest duty-rated item. As our civil servants demand one of the highest pay in the world, this will eventually lead to more austerity measures. When can our elected public servants provide value for money and world-class services rather than taxes?” asks Mohammed. His contact is Mohammed78611021@Hotmail.com.

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CULPABLE MPS: The National Assembly is squarely to blame for the introduction of the VAT on fuel, which is going to make the lives of most Kenyans unbearable, says Onyango Alare. “It’s the MPs who passed the Finance Bill in 2013 then postponed its implementation. Could they have been drunk when they passed the Bill?” Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, Onyango adds, should not be blamed for effecting it. “My take is that there should be no further suspension. The law should be amended to scrap it altogether.” His contact is onyango.alare@gmail.com.

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LAZY OPTION: For her part, Ruth Gituma says increasing the cost of all petroleum products by such a huge margin should be termed as a lazy option by the authorities. While appreciating that the government needs to raise revenue to meet its obligations, she is convinced that “if we could seal all corruption avenues and loopholes, it would be possible to meet the targets.” The common sense approach is to ensure that all taxes are paid, she adds. “The current approach will only make life unbearable for the already overtaxed Kenyans.” Her contact is rgitum@gmail.com.

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EXAM PREPS: Cornelius Oliko is amused that officials are “strategising” on how to prevent cheating in the KCPE and KCSE exams, which are weeks away. Though he welcomes it, the bigger tragedy, he adds, is the cheating happening. They are only “looking at the symptoms instead of treating the disease, which is the high premium put on exam results, with schemes of service insisting on a certain subject grades and university admission also based on that. “In such circumstances, cheating is guaranteed, and to the realist, justified.” His contact is crnlsoliko@gmail.com.

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WATER CRISIS: During the heavy rains several months ago, Mwangi Karuga recalls, there were floods in the country, Then, he adds, there were reports that several dams had burst their banks with those supplying water to the city filling up. But water rationing remains a headache for city residents. He would like to know whether Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company lacks water engineers or efficient administrators to solve the problem once and for all. “Why should residents have no water so soon after contending with heavy rains?” His contact mwangikaruga8@gmail.com.

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SHILLING PUZZLE: Quite confusing to Wanjohi Mwangi are the numerous different abbreviations of the shilling. He wants to know the correct short form of Kenyan currency among Kshs, KShs, KSh, Ks and KES. “This is sheer confusion and lack of consistency and creativity. We should agree on a single abbreviation or, better still, a single symbol to represent our national currency. Where are our creative minds? Why isn’t the Central Bank keen on ending this confusion?” His contact is wanjohimwangi@yahoo.com.

Have a consistent day, won’t you!

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