Raila to Unveil Parallel ‘People’s Budget’; Budget Squeezes Salaried Workers in Bid to Lift Hustlers & Njuguna Ndung’u’s Defining Moment for Kenyans in Parliament

Good morning,

Members of Parliament Wednesday night voted in favour of the controversial Finance Bill 2023 despite strong opposition from civil society groups and opposition lawmakers.

Out of all those who voted, 176 MPs voted in favour of the bill while 86 voted against it.

The Bill now moves to the committee of the whole House where members will have a chance to push through their amendments.

The bill, which aims at increasing sources of revenue introduces a number of new taxes and levies, including a 3% housing levy on all Kenyans’ salaries.

The government has defended the bill, arguing that it is necessary to raise revenue to fund its ambitious development agenda. The government has also said that the bill will help to reduce inequality and create jobs.

With many calls to amend the bill, the government only took heed of advice in slicing the housing levy from 3% to 1.5% and Digital Tax on content creators from 15% to 3%.

President William Ruto has been very optimistic in passing the bill saying it will help raise revenues in order to fund his administration’s first budget of Sh3.59 trillion.

Meanwhile; here are stories making headlines on Opera News Today.

Raila to unveil parallel budget, tells Kenyans to wait for next action

Azimio leader Raila Odinga is set to unveil a parallel ‘people’s budget’.

The opposition warned that the proposed tax measures are punitive and will condemn Kenyans to untold suffering.

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Budget squeezes salaried workers in bid to lift hustlers

The Kenya Kwanza administration has hit salaried workers and the middle class hard in its search for Sh211 billion in additional taxes to fund its first Sh3.6 trillion Budget, further squeezing incomes that are under pressure from high inflation.

In keeping with the tone set by the Ruto administration to go after those it considers privileged to help uplift the poor, amendments to the Finance Bill 2023 by the Budget and Finance Committee of the National Assembly target the middle class for higher taxes and levies while offering some reliefs to low-income earners.

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3 pm: Njuguna Ndung’u’s defining moment for Kenyans in Parliament

At 3 pm on Thursday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u will make the short journey from the National Treasury building to Parliament to present the first budget under the Kenya Kwanza administration.

The omnibus budget, estimated at Sh3.599 trillion and the largest in Kenya’s history, will outline the government’s spending plans for the financial year starting July 1.

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