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MDG urges MPs to reject tax hikes, calls for KRA reforms

The Movement for Democratic and Growth (MDG) party leader David Ochieng. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) has urged MPs to reject proposals to increase taxes in the Finance Bill 2024.

MDG Party leader David Ochieng emphasized that such measures would burden an already heavily taxed populace, still recovering from punitive taxes enacted in previous years. 

Ochieng, a third-term MP for Ugenya, proposed that instead of raising taxes through the Finance Bill, the government should leverage efficiency improvements in tax collection and close loopholes through reforms at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). 

"The government has recently automated revenue collection and bolstered staff numbers to enhance efficiency and reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks. Why not fully implement these reforms to alleviate pressure on citizens and boost revenue?" he questioned. 

He added, "The government must identify and eliminate loopholes that enable individuals and businesses to evade their tax obligations, sparing the public from additional tax burdens. I will oppose the bill in parliament because it undermines these purported KRA reforms." 

According to KRA statistics, revenue collections have risen steadily over the past five years, from Sh1.58 trillion in FY2018/2019 to Sh2.166 trillion in FY2022/23, marking a 37 per cent increase (Sh586.259 billion) over the period.

During a meeting with party delegates on Monday in Kakamega Town, Ochieng also criticized Kenya Kwanza regime's aggressive taxation, arguing it does not benefit Kenyans equally. "Regions like Western Kenya, with larger populations contributing substantial taxes, have little to show for it compared to more developed areas like Central and Rift Valley," he said.

He recommended that the government should trim expenditure and appoint competent individuals to lead ministries to enhance service delivery. 

Party delegates called on national leaders to stop making tribal remarks that threaten the country’s unity. 

MDG is actively recruiting new members. “We offer an alternative to the dominance of alpha parties which have produced leaders with poor development records," said Moses Ochieng, a delegate from Busia.

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