The government’s current measures to save a hurting economy are laudable, but we must do more.
The government’s current measures to save a hurting economy are laudable, but we must do more. The new tax measures will go a long way in healing the wounds that continue to fester as a result of the coronavirus.
Reducing taxes will leave workers and businesses with money to spend at a time when the economy is slowing down.
Starting April 1, consumers will pay 14 per cent of value added tax (VAT) instead of 16 per cent. Those who earn a monthly salary of Sh24,000 and below will also benefit from a 100 per cent waiver on Pay as You Earn (PAYE), the rest will see their PAYE reduce from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.
Corporations will see taxes levied on their profits also reduce by five percentage points. Small businesses that earn an annual revenue of less than Sh5 million will also benefit from a reduced monthly turnover tax. While this is most welcome in the current circumstances, it is not enough. Businesses are dying. Workers are being laid off.
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These persons do not have businesses and lack jobs. Giving them tax reliefs does not work. The country’s resources are limited, but that is no excuse for a hungry man. We must do all we can to avert social disorder amid this crisis. If and when the government can, let it give a lifeline to the most vulnerable and the poorest people.