Kenyan Parliament Votes To End COVID-19 Tax Relief

The Kenyan Parliament has voted for the cessation of COVID-19 tax reliefs introduced to help cushion the dire effects of the pandemic.

The Kenyan government in April, weeks after announcing its first case gave tax relief to business owners and citizens.

Eight months since introducing the relief, the Kenyan Parliament says it’s dipping into government’s coffers and is not sustainable. The legislative said $565m of expected income will be lost to tax relief if allowed to continue.

Investors in the country have said the decision of the parliament will affect recovery from the effects of the pandemic as the relief has been helping businesses.

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“I am going to surrender 50,000 shillings more every month. Let it go to the government. But let it be utilised efficiently to deliver services to my people and to all of us,” John Mbadi, lawmaker representing the Wassi constituency said before voting on the relief cut.

Kenya’s economy has been adversely affected by the pandemic, as it recorded its first decline since 2008.

The East African economic giant’s main sources of income; agricultural products and tourism have reacted harshly to the pandemic.

Parliament however agreed to ease citizens earning 24,000 Shillings and lesser of the taxes, with a 100% relief granted to them.

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Kenya has the second-highest number of cases of COVID-19 in East Africa at over 94,000 cases, and more than 1,600 deaths.

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