- Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna has broken silence following mounting pressure that the state should slash taxes as Covid-19 pandemic impedes economic growth.
While appearing on Citizen TV's Monday Report on Monday, March 23, Oguna disclosed that the state would not suspend taxes as several Kenyans had requested.
He explained that the state needed the funds for its operations, arguing that no other country across the globe had managed to waive taxes because of the pandemic.
“The taxes cannot be entirely lifted because the government must continue to operate. The government is not a business enterprise, it must be able to fund its operations from taxes. There is no government globally that has been able to remove all taxes because of a situation like this,” he stated.Medical practitioners in protective gear at the Coronavirus Isolation facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.Simon KiraguKENYANS.CO.KE
Reducing taxes, was part of various plans, according to Cabinet Secretary Labour and Social Protection, Simon Chelugui, that the government was working on, in a bid to cushion Kenyans from the projected tough economic times, following the Coronavirus outbreak.
Flanked by the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jacqueline Mugo, the duo announced that one of the proposals currently under review touched on the various statutory payments such as PAYE and NSSF.
"We are looking at statutory contributions and considering whether those could be either scaled down, reduced or withheld. We outlined areas such as PAYE where employees are taxed and contributions to pension such as NSSF.
"We've also looked at VAT, which currently stands at 16% and proposed that it be reduced to create extra money for businesses, to be used in the running of everyday operations," stated Mugo.
Oguna, however, did not rule out the country's lockdown, explaining that while many countries have effected it, it is a measure of last resort.
He emphasised that the country had a good chance of avoiding going on lockdown if the citizens followed the state's recommendations.
“A lockdown is something that is always on the table but we don’t want to get there and we will not get there if our people are able to obey the advisory and measures that have put in place by the government.
“It is a place that no country wants to go. No society is comfortable with it," he explained.
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