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Azimio Instructs MPs to Vote No to Finance Bill 2024, Terms Proposed Taxes as Punitive

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Azimio Instructs MPs to Vote No to Finance Bill 2024, Terms Proposed Taxes as Punitive

 

The Azimio la Umoja coalition has instructed all its members of Parliament to vote against the Finance Bill 2024, set to be debated on Tuesday. The coalition’s leadership has described the proposed taxes within the bill as punitive and detrimental to the economic welfare of Kenyan citizens.

 

During a press conference on Friday, Azimio la Umoja’s chief whip, Junet Mohammed, conveyed the coalition’s position in unequivocal terms. “We cannot support a bill that imposes such draconian taxes on our people. This Finance Bill is not justifiable, and it is punitive to the common mwananchi who is already struggling to make ends meet,” said Mohammed. He urged all Azimio MPs to stand firm and vote against the bill in order to protect the interests of their constituents.

 

Azimio’s leader, Raila Odinga, echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the coalition’s commitment to opposing any legislation that exacerbates the financial burdens on Kenyans. “This bill proposes to increase VAT, introduce new levies on essential goods, and place an undue strain on the already overstretched pockets of ordinary Kenyans. It is not acceptable, and we must reject it in totality,” Odinga stated.

 

The Finance Bill 2024 has been a subject of intense debate since its introduction, with various stakeholders expressing concerns over its potential impact on the economy. The proposed legislation seeks to raise additional revenue through higher taxes on goods and services, including an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) and new excise duties on fuel and mobile money transactions.

 

Critics argue that the proposed taxes will lead to an increase in the cost of living, disproportionately affecting lower and middle-income households. “The government must explore alternative means of raising revenue that do not involve overburdening the citizenry with exorbitant taxes. We urge the treasury to reconsider these proposals,” noted Wycliffe Oparanya, a senior Azimio official.

 

In contrast, supporters of the bill argue that the additional revenue is necessary to fund essential public services and infrastructure projects. However, Azimio leaders remain unconvinced, asserting that the government should prioritize efficient utilization of existing resources and curtail unnecessary expenditure.

 

As the vote approaches, the political temperature continues to rise, with Azimio MPs rallying their constituents and organizing grassroots campaigns to bolster opposition to the bill. “We are taking this fight to the people. We want Kenyans to understand the stakes involved and join us in saying no to these punitive taxes,” stated Sabina Chege, another prominent Azimio MP.

 

The Finance Bill 2024 will be a litmus test for the coalition’s ability to mobilize and influence parliamentary proceedings. All eyes will be on the National Assembly come Tuesday, as the outcome of the vote will have significant implications for Kenya’s fiscal policy and economic trajectory.

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