Budget 2024: Azimio rejects new taxes

Azimio La Umoja co-Principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Mwangi wa Iria, and Eugene Wamalwa during a presser at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation where they showed their displeasure with Kenya Kwanza's tax regime. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja coalition has slammed the Budget Policy Statement (BPS) 2024, saying it contains drastic tax hikes and flawed policies that will burden Kenyans more.

In a statement on Thursday, February 22, the coalition said the BPS violates the constitutional and Public Finance Management Act provisions and confirms that the Kenya Kwanza regime is planning to impose a second wave of taxes on Kenyans.

“Our position is that the economic proposals, policies, and strategies are unachievable and will only worsen the suffering of Kenyans. The BPS shows that the regime is coming after the pockets of Kenyans who are already struggling to make ends meet,” the coalition said.

The coalition further urged the government to lower the taxation rate and reduce its spending to ease the cost of living and stimulate economic growth.

“We believe that the country will thrive when the regime moderates its expenditure, reduces wastages, and adopts a rights-based and zero-based budgeting approach. This will ensure that public funds are used prudently and effectively,” the statement read.

It also called for more funding to the counties and empowerment of the middle class, saying they are the pillars of development and social justice.

The coalition pledged to work with the government to create a conducive environment for manufacturing and attract investors to create more job opportunities for Kenyans.

“We believe in empowering a broad-based private sector and enabling it to be the driver of economic growth in our country. The regime is frustrating the private sector with punitive taxes that discourage investment and innovation,” the statement read.

Azimio also appealed to senators to reject the Affordable Housing Levy Bill, 2023, which is set for the Third Reading in the House, saying it will impose an unfair burden on Kenyans.

At the same time, it warned the government to stop borrowing and spending funds on misplaced priorities, saying it would jeopardize the fiscal stability and sovereignty of the country.