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Let's consider giving all our cash to Treasury for ease of budget making

Peter Kimani
 Unpredictable tax rates hurting Kenya’s FDI inflows according to the World Bank. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

An ardent reader thinks Prezzo Bill Ruto and his able Deputy Rigathi Gachagua aka Riggy G have become permanent fixtures on this page, so I’ll steer clear of those individuals unless, of course, the absurdity of their actions become too hard to ignore.

So, I will ignore the fact that our Prezzo is back in the air, flying economy on a commercial flight, so I hear, to South Korea, with only a fraction of the retinue of aides that accompanied him to the U.S. of A, or as Kenyans call it these days, Yues.

I am planning on a trip there and the process of applying for a new visa is a real pain the neck - I suspect Americans have more colourful expressions about pain and where it throbs - so I dialled a number to the embassy and received great help from an attendant who asked me to spell virtually every word I uttered.

“My last name is K-i-m-a-n-i. K for Kenya, I for Ink, M for mother, A for apple, N for Nairobi, I for Ink.”

Anyway, let’s stick to politics, so I will similarly ignore the rumour that Riggy G has retreated to the mountains, yet again, but this time, as a PR stunt, because his absence elicited more media attention than when he’s freely available.

Rather, I’d like to focus on Budget Day, which is scheduled for next week, when our Prezzo will sit in the August House in mock solemnity and hear the good professor Njuguna Ndung’u explain his rationale for introducing more tax on food items and other consumer goods.

The last time Ndung’u increased the tax on sugar, he said it was to prevent diabetes.

I suspect he will state his new reason for introducing VAT on bread as being to manage diabetes, especially now that our hospitals are running on empty, and some doctors are yet to resume work, after many weeks of protest.

But that’s not my problem. Since Prezzo Ruto has reminded us, time and again, that he “wasn’t elected to be re-elected,” which is shorthand restating that he will continue with his policies, no matter how unpopular, I want to propose a less painful way of securing more from Kenyans, but hopefully, less painfully.

This is not a novelty, really, it’s been stated by Kenyans countless times, but Prezzo hasn’t been paying attention.

Since bottom-up economic model means targeting those at the very bottom for upliftment, how about all of us surrendering earnings to the government. After all the deductions on all expenses, we shall receive a stipend to live on. Hopefully, that, too, will not be taxed!

Out of that, the government will pay all the bills that we handle in the domestic sphere, including chamas, contributions to bereaved neighbours, church harambee, support for unemployed and sick relatives, etc. etc.

That way, there will be no reason for a thieving political and business class spending a lifetime covering their trails of their malfeasance. Instead of looting our national coffers, we shall willfully surrender all that we have without resistance.

Who knows, such a move could buffer the low reserves that Riggy G said he and his team found when they took charge and leave the nation in better financial footing than they found it.

It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that the quest for more taxes doesn’t mean better services or any service at all; it means the loot available for stealing is a lot bigger than it was two years ago.

And those at the bottom of the rung, the mama mboga and boda boda folks will finally be free of the yoke of living on shoe-string budgets because the government allowance will be much better than their measly wages.

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