National Assembly Speaker Justine Muturi is now blaming members of parliament for the high cost of living being experienced by Kenyans after their move to pass 16% VAT tax on items.
According to Muturi the MPs failed to represent the interest of people and behaving like backbenchers at the ex pense of Kenyans.
‘‘Each one of you is representing the people and therefore must represent their interests! That is what article 195 of our constitution says,’’ Muturi said at a TV interview.
‘‘When you are walking away when these proposals are being made, can you validly claim to be representing the people?’’ he asked.
He lamented referring to the financial bill that has now resulted to the rise in costs of all basic commodities in Kenya.
Muturi says the parliament has powers to stop such kind of proposals if the Members of Parliament choose to.
He however, applauded them for standing against the treasurer and opposed the proposal to levy tax on maize and wheat flour but proposed other areas of raising revenue.
The new prices have not been received well by the public who argues that it does not make sense to have the bread price untouched but raise the prices of gas, airtime, internet, cooking oil, fuel among other essentials.
According to gas dealers the 16% VAT tax on liquefied petroleum gas is the highest hike ever in history.
13Kg of gas cylinder now retails at Kshs. 2,610 from Ksh. 2,250 before the new taxes were imposed.
In some areas like Kisumu, some are now considering going back to fire wood, a predicament that will see the environment affected too. According to Kenya Bureau of Standards study of 2019 53% of homes in urban areas use gas for cooking.
The Finance Bill, 2021 was published on 5 May 2021 and tabled in Parliament on 11th May 2021.Some of the proposed amendments will take effect from 1 January 2022 while the rest came into force on 1 July 2021 having been passed by the National Assembly and assented into law by the President on 29th June 2021.
As we braise ourselves for tough economic times ahead, do you think Speaker Justin Muturi is right or just playing politics?
By Majimaji Julius