Winners and Losers In the 2015/2016 Budget

  • The 2015/2016 budget unveiled on Thursday goes on record as the most ambitious budget witnessed so far in Kenya's history.

    The Budget outlines that Sh 1.36 trillion will be raised from tax revenues while the balance of about Sh800 billion will be raised from borrowing and donor funding, The Nation reports.

    The highlight of the Sh2.1 trillion budget announced by National treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich is the expanded tax bracket intended to ensure the government raises revenue to fund the Budget.

    Motorists and by extension the public will pay more to meet transport costs after the National Treasury hit vehicle owners with a Sh3 per litre tax in what CS Rotich said was meant to raise funds to further scale up the existing road network.

    Beer drinkers, smokers, landlords and manufacturers of plastic packaging materials were also caught up in the expanded tax bracket

    The government in the tax revisions, introduced a new levy known as the Excise Tax Bill which is expected to raise Sh25 billion.
    The Excise duty targets harmful products such as cigarette, alcohol, old motor vehicles and plastic bags

    Landlords will be required to pay Sh120 for every Sh1,000 they collect as rent for property taxes and for the landlords with a residential rental income of up to Sh10 million annually will bear a 12% tax for their gross rental incomes which is a drop from the usual 30 %, The Standard reports.

    Landlords who have not been compliant in paying taxes have a reprieve after they were offered a tax amnesty.

    Manufacturers and users of plastic paper bags will have to bear an enhanced tax on non-biodegradable plastic of Sh120 per Kilogramme.

    GAINS

    However the greatest beneficiaries of the tax and policy measures announced in the 2015/2016 budget include the youth, filmmakers, manufacturers, teachers and security agencies.

    All payments made by foreign film producers to local actors and crew members will not be subjected to the Withholding Tax.

    In addition the government also proposed to exempt VAT in respect of goods and services purchased for use in film-making.

    Local manufacturers and enterprises will also benefit from the directive that ministries, agencies and departments should adhere to at least 40 per cent local content while procuring goods and services.

    CS Rotich also announced that Employers who hire and train at least 10 fresh graduates will enjoy tax rebates.

    In a raft of measures to cushion local manufactures from cheap imports the sugar industry greatly benefited after a Sh40 per kilo import duty was slapped on sugar that is not locally produced.

    The youth are also set to benefit after the National Youth Service was allocated Sh25 billion to ensure youth employment and re-engineering as a vehicle for transforming and empowering the youth.

    A massive allocation of resources to the country's security agencies which marked a Sh27 billion increase was witnessed, Capital reports.

    The Government allocated Sh223.9 billion to the security sector during the 2015-2016 financial year.

    The 2015/2016 according to The Star is a pro-business budget aiming at promoting economic growth tax measures encouraging investment.

    Image of Henry Rotich