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Government slaps new taxes on mobile money

16th June, 2018

The government will slap new taxes on mobile money, bank to bank transfers and airfares to help fund the ambitious Big Four Agenda. The State also plans to raid billions of shillings sitting under the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) to kick off the one million homes programme before looking out for other financiers. It is also looking at possibility of slapping taxes on idle land across the country, as was done in Saudi Arabia, to discourage speculation and underutilisation of land resources.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda has mapped down his government’s priorities to four key sectors – manufacturing, food security, healthcare and housing – in a dream that will need billions of shillings to actualise. With near flat growth in the economy, unmet revenue targets by KRA amid rising expenditure, the government has been forced to borrow heavily to meet its obligations. And now, with the Big Four agenda, the Jubilee administration must find new ways of generating additional taxes.

The new tax measures, expected to be introduced in the next two months when the Treasury tables the 2019 budget, are part of a plan to find new avenues of taxing the rich more in an effort to redistribute wealth to the poor and marginalised, in what is known as Robin-Hood taxes. “Priorities for 2018 financing options to bridge the (financing) gap include introducing Robin – Hood taxes on high value Real Time Gross Settleme