Okoa Uchumi calls for financial sobriety towards Finance Bill 2023

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Okoa Uchumi Campaign has continued to urge the public to remain steadfast and keen on the proposed Finance Bill 2023 which has so far elicited backlash from different governance and private sector players.

Speaking today during a town hall meeting in Nairobi, Schola Juma of Kariobangi Social Justice Centre said its high time the young people woke up from slumberland and held their political leaders accountable with regards to the proposed tax increase in the Finance Bill 2023 and Budget Policy Statement. Juma added that political leaders should visit their areas and engage the locals as far as their grievances and priorities are concerned.

“Most of the political politicians only care for what revolves around them hence neglecting the public who voted them in as their representatives,” she noted.

Speaking on the same, a member of Mukuru Kwa Njenga Social Justice Centre said the current proposals in the bill will have severe impact and risks bleeding Kenyans dry through the aggressive taxation measures that it has adopted.

“The current regime came to power with the promise of uplifting the common people who live on less than a dollar per day. However, with the current situation, the poor people are at the receiving end with the already increased cost of living,”he said.

He further urged the government to consider the plight of Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum dwellers who were promised to be relocated but no action has been taken so far.

In addition, he highlighted the poor and dangerous living conditions as some residents barely survive on one meal daily.

Members of the Okoa Uchumi Coalition have been joining citizens in giving their views on the Budget Policy Statement and Finance Bill 2023.

This is in response to the call for public participation and submission of memoranda. The Coalition reviewed the proposed tax amendments and did a joint submission of their proposals giving alternative recommendations backed by reliable figures that have been simulated from reliable models and sources.

The campaign had previously made oral submissions to the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning of the National Assembly, and urged the Members of Parliament present to support their opinions once the bill is tabled in parliament for debate.

The campaign presented justification as to why it was opposing tax increments, introduction of new taxes and proposing the reduction or banding of the proposed taxes.

The physical meetings are being convened by The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA) bringing together stakeholders from Okoa Uchumi Campaign, Social Justice Centers and identified Members of Parliament. The aim of the townhall convening is to dissect the current finance bill enactment by Parliament and the extent of public participation in the process, as part of the wider budget making process in Kenya.

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