As the Cabinet Secretary of Finance Ukur Yatani prepares to present the budget for the 2021/22 financial year in parliament today, Kirinyaga County residents are accusing the government of over-taxation.
According to the proposed budget estimated at ksh3.66 trillion, a target of about ksh1.8 trillion has been set on Kenya Revenue Authority, failure to which the government will have to borrow both locally and internationally.
KRA’s failure to reach the target will force the government to borrow over ksh570 billion from local lenders as well as over ksh427 from international lenders.
The residents predict that this will be the solution as they cast doubt on KRA’a ability to meet their target.
“KRA has been marred by allegations of corruption. If not so, then how come they never meet the target?” Posed David Ngarî, a businessman at Kagio in Kirinyaga.
Residents argue that businesses have been hit hard since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.
“Since the covid-19 pandemic hit our nation, this government has been raising taxes regardless of the hardship that we are going through,” claimed Antony Muceke, Chairman of the Kirinyaga Bars Owners Association
Muceke said that the government should first lift restrictions imposed on bars before thinking of borrowing and/or imposing more taxes on Kenyans.
“Why would you add taxes on alcoholic products when we are only operating for two hours a day? We can’t even afford to feed our families and we have laid off over 70 per cent of our workforce,” Muceke added.
Peter Muhoro, a preacher with a local church at Kagio in Mûtiithi Ward of Mwea Constituency has said that rampant corruption cases have continued to engulf borrowed funds by the government hence derailing development projects.
“I call on investigative agencies to find out why KRA never meets its target, because I’m sure the parastatal won’t meet next year’s financial fiscal target,” he said.