The Kenya National Private Security Workers Union has lauded the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s fiscal measures to mitigate the negative impact of corona virus on the economy effective from April 1.
The Union’s National General Secretary Isaac Andabwa commended the government considering the low income earning Kenyan workers to ensure that they have disposable income, and relief from high cost of essential goods and services.
Some of the incentives President Uhuru announced yesterday include 100 per cent tax waiver on earnings of all workers with a gross salary of less than Sh24,000 per month, reduction of PAYE tax for all employees earning above Sh24,000 from the normal 30 per cent to 25 per cent, suspension of all CRB listings and reduction of VAT from 16 per cent to 14 per cent.
Andabwa also welcomed the waiver and reduced taxes on employer such as the reduction of Value Aded Tax and corporation tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.
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The union boss appealed to employers in private security to pass these benefits to the guards, who he said are vital players in the corona intervention. The government yesterday listed the industry among essential service providers in his address.
He urged the government to further take measures to protect workers in the informal sector, which employs more than 80 per cent of the Kenyan workers across the economic divide including informally employed guards.
“The government should order landlords and landladies to waive rent for two to three months especially for poor workers living in informal settlements. These vulnerable workers are now ‘staying home’ to adhere to government prescriptions to avert corona virus spread,” he said.
“ Landlords should not evict such workers from their houses. Landlords should assist tenants to stay healthy so that they can enjoy their rent income once COVID-19 is over.”
The Union is also calling on all security firms to issue guards with job cards for ease of identification during curfew hours. Uniform alone is not sufficient since masqueraders can take advantage and even engage in criminal activities posing as guards.
It has reminded its members to remember their safety and health first in varying out their duties. “Guards should observe the hygiene protocols set by the ministry of health as they work. The public should also assist the government and avoid unnecessary movements and observe high hygiene standards and social distancing,” he stated.