The Kenyan parliament has voted to end tax cuts put in place in April 2020 to cushion citizens from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of Parliament said the move would help ease the country’s revenue shortfalls but Kenyans are still reeling under the effects of the pandemic, saying this will further affect their earnings and make life more difficult for them.
The tax relief measures were introduced weeks after the country registered its first case of COVID-19 and announced several stringent lockdown measures aimed at stemming the spread of the disease.
During debate on Tuesday, MPs said the cuts were not sustainable but those opposed to the reversal say Kenyans are still under economic strain and need the relief measures.
Kenya’s tourism and agriculture dependent economy has seen a decline in earnings as exports have dwindled and so have international tourist arrivals.
With these measures, Value Added Tax (VAT) will return to 16 percent from 14 percent while businesses will pay corporate tax of 30 percent instead of 25 percent.
The east African nation will also make a decision in the next 48 hours on whether to join European Union (EU) member states in imposing new travel restrictions to and from the United Kingdom due to a new coronavirus strain.
On flights from the UK, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said Kenya was monitoring events there before taking action.
Britain is one of Kenya’s main source markets for tourists.
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