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MPs split ahead of crucial sitting

President Uhuru Kenyatta rejected the Finance Bill 2018

Members of Parliament have shown division over new taxation and cost-cutting proposals pushed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The rift has widened ahead of the crucial special sitting of the National Assembly tomorrow afternoon to consider the President’s amendments detailing his reservations about the Finance Bill 2018.

Those opposed to the President’s memorandum that recommends 8 percent value added tax (VAT) on petroleum products argue that Kenyans should not be burdened with additional taxes that raise the cost of living insisting on zero VAT on petroleum products.

“We don’t need any VAT on petroleum products. Even if it is 8 per cent, it is not good because it still has a spiral effect on the economy. We have a meeting on Tuesday where we might take a position against the Presidents’ proposals,” said the minority leader John Mbadi.

Contrary, the National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale said he would rally members to support the President’s proposals, which he promised to make public in the House tomorrow.

For president reservation to be considered it will require two thirds majority votes and means it will take 233 MPs to vote to the presidents proposals which would mean reverting to the Bill as passed by the House suspending implementation of the new taxes by two years.

Both Jubilee Party and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will hold separate meetings to adopt a common stand on the President’s tax proposals.

A divided House is an advantage to the President because it will be harder for MPs to override his recommendations.

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