After Kenya’s Protest, FG Makes Important Proposition On New Tax For The Poor

Taiwo Oyedele feels that the nation does not need to raise taxes to raise money, and he has suggested a tax exemption for the poor and vulnerable.

This was stated by the chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee on Politics Today on Channels Television.

He said,

“Sadly, the system we have today is trying to tax everything and everybody. You know, if it moves, tax it; if it moves again, tax it even more That seems to be the approach we have today.”

“You would imagine that those who are selling sachets of water, which we call pure water, how much possibly can be their capital plus profits.

“With all the hard work, people are just trying to see if they can find N800 or N1,000 a day to take care of themselves and their families, which would cover their transport or feeding.

“But when we were speaking to market traders associations, they told us that these guys are paying about six to seven different levies every single day, and they give them some form of sticker.

Truckers not exempted

He also spotlighted how truckers usually have to suffer paying multiple taxes in one single trip.

“And that clearly is not acceptable. We’ve also seen truckers who are moving produce, including food, from one state to another have to pay more than N450,000 in one single trip. Sometimes, the stickers add up to more than 50.

“So, at the end of the day, this is the reason why, for example, if you looked at the last inflation numbers, even just between rural areas and urban areas, the difference in inflation is about 500 basis points, which is about 5%, which you can only just explain by way of transportation but by the time you add the taxes to it. You see, that is one of the reasons why that differential is so significant.”

Suliyat Ibrahim, a trader who sells bread under Mile 2, said,

“That’s how they usually demand for tax. They don’t care if you sell or not. They just keep saying where is my money as if they work for the money they are collecting.”

This comes after thousands of mostly young demonstrators took to the streets across Kenya on Thursday to protest tax hikes, blow whistles, and chant slogans in a vivid show of anger against the government.

Police in the capital, Nairobi, fired tear gas and water cannons against groups of protesters near parliament, but apart from isolated scuffles earlier in the day, the action dubbed “Occupy Parliament” remained mostly peaceful.


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