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High taxes driving motorists up the wall

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By Tony Ngare | June 28th 2015

Since independence, every finance minister has found taxing motorists irresistible. It is like that pretty girl in the front pew in church. You should not be thinking about her, let alone look at her but you cannot resist it.

Finance ministers know they have already taxed the motorist a zillion times but when there is a deficit in the budget, they still raid the motorist’s pockets.

Despite being one of the most highly taxed individuals, the Kenyan motorist has again been thrown under the bus by the National Treasury after the budget-making mandarins decided that road maintenance levy had to go up.

To raise this cash for the Road Annuity Fund, they loaded Sh3 for every litre of petrol or diesel sold.

To compound the problem, the motorist has to contend with corrupt police officers, overzealous officers of the National Transport Safety Authority and petty car vandals. Never mind that the poor soul has several mouths to feed.

Successive governments have been unable to fix the public transport system and therefore the struggling middle class has to move around in a private car, acquired through expensive loans from banks or Saccos. Yet, the same government continues to assume that acquiring and maintaining a car is the stuff made for the affluent.

This is wrong.

The reason we fall over ourselves to please the bank manager or Sacco officials is because life without a private car in the city can be intolerable.

A private vehicle, in my opinion, is very much a means of production.

That is why we must stop further persecution of motorists under the guise of taxation.

Granted, the present and the previous governments have built roads upcountry.

That is all well and good.

But who cares for the city motorists who have to sit in traffic for several hours every day, getting their brains baked in pot holed roads.

Unfortunately, the fuel levy fund will not help improve the lives of those who will make the largest contributions.

The motorists will still drive their on bad roads on their weekly visits to the garage.

Motorists should not continue to be a soft target for Treasury. Neither should they be targets  for  greedy traffic police officers.

Twitter: @tonyngare

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