Public Service International (PSI), a global union federation for workers in public service, has raised concerns over Kenya's Finance Act of 2023.
In a letter addressed to Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndungu and his counterpart in the Ministry of Labour, Florence Bore, the Union has urged the government to consider amending taxes imposed in the Act.
“We wish to echo their [Kenyans] concerns about the severe adverse impact on workers and call on you to urgently reconsider the most regressive elements of the Finance Act 2023,” PSI stated.
According to the union, the increased taxes on consumer goods are a burden to low-income citizens who are hugely affected by the economic crisis in the country.
“Tax revenues are essential to finance our public services and sustainable public investment. However, it is equally crucial for workers and their communities that the tax burden is borne fairly by the wealthiest. Therefore, we raise concern over the increasing consumption taxes and labour taxation for low-income earners while there is laxity in taxing international organizations,” said the union.
To help collect more taxes without overburdening Kenyans, the Union suggested that the government should ensure that multinational corporations do not evade taxation.
Additionally, the country should adopt unitary taxation on the multinational corporation profits earned by taxing its citizens as single global entities.
According to the Union, this could be a domestic resource mobilizer to the country.
Further, PSI recommended that the government apply transparent tax measures which will attract investors and in return create development and employment opportunities that the country needs.