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Lilian Gogo: Ruto is shortchanging 'Hustler Nation'

 A supporter of President William Ruto's UDA party carried on a wheelbarrow during presidential campaigns in 2022. [George Njunge, Standard]

Is the Kenya Kwanza government shortchanging hustlers?

This is the question lingering in minds of many Kenyans today following the introduction of the controversial Finance Bill 2023.

During campaigns, President William Ruto promised to reduce the cost of living, which earned him the support of low income earners popularly referred to as hustlers.

But as debate on the controversial bill gains momentum, many questions have arisen as to whether the hustlers were considered during formulation of the Bill.

Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo accuses President William Ruto of shortchanging hustlers through the Bill.

Gogo who spoke at Rawinji Chief's Camp in Kasipul Constituency during an ODM party meeting convened by area MP Ong'ondo Were, said the taxation Bill is a betrayal to hustlers.

The MP said high taxation will make life difficult for many Kenyans.

"The government is expected to make life bearable for citizens. But the huge taxation in the Bill is going to frustrate Kenyans, especially low income earners," Gogo said.

The MP said that what the government is doing is betrayal to Kenyans who deserve to be cushioned from economic difficulties.

She cited increasing taxes on oil from the current eight to 16 per cent in the Bill and other taxation on beauty items such as wigs.

"It is unfortunate that President Ruto wants to tax women who are earning a living the hard way. Where does he want citizens to relocate to because life is going to be unbearable in Kenya?" she asked.

The MP argued that the best way of generating revenue for the government is not to increase taxation. Instead, the government should create conducive environment for many people to do business.

She argued that the government will collect more revenue if taxes are affordable.

"The government has got it wrong because the best way for generating revenue is not to increase taxation. Increasing taxes will discourage people from participating in income generating activities, hence low revenue," Gogo said.

Were said Kenyans have not asked the government to build them houses.

"Kenyans have houses and nobody has told the government to build houses for citizens. Let the government stop frustrating Kenyans," Were said.

He appealed to his fellow legislators to reject the Bill when it is taken to Parliament.

"This Bill is autocratic and unfair to Kenyans. I urge my fellow legislators to reject it."

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