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A Worker’s lens of the current taxation system in Kenya

A Worker’s lens of the current taxation system in Kenya


The current administration is determined to collect as much taxes as possible from Kenyan Workers without considering the economic and social impacts of such taxes.  As much as you want to collect every cent from me so that you be self-reliant as a government by meeting your expenditures from domestic revenue, it should be noted that “collecting more taxes than absolutely necessary is legalized robbery” (Calvin Coolidge.

Why would a nation rob from her struggling workers who can not even put food on the table? I am  today hungry because those in Authority eat up too much in taxes.

Today, I am being ushered into 3 per cent deductions for housing fund, yesterday 6 per cent of my pay was deducted and submitted to a pensionable income. The day before yesterday, 2 per cent was taken away and submitted to the National Hospital Insurance Fund. And just before the pay was issued out by the employer, between 10 to 30 per cent was submitted to the government as Pay As You Earn. I have not even mentioned the health plan that Government has which comes with the another 2.75% deduction.

On average, my disposable income is about 79 per cent. However, I must be lying to myself if I budget with the 79 per cent of my pay because my government is still interested in taking part of this share. In fact, out of the 79 per cent, the government will take more than 50 per cent of any amount I use to buy electricity.  In case, I buy food and other basic items for my impoverished family, the government will still take 16 per cent from me. How much do I remain with as a Kenyan worker? I have not paid rent. I have not bought clothing for my children. Forget about paying school fees for them. Surely, where should I run to as a worker in Kenya? Is this the best way the government should borrow from me? Just for the sake of being self-reliant but leaving me at the mercies of death. My income gone, gone and gone, no wonder graduates flock at the “Pastor Mackenzies of the day………”

Please remember that our Kenyan 2010 constitution “Recognising the aspirations of all Kenyans for a government based on essential values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law”  May I humbly request that  issues regarding workers such as taxation be subjected to public participation and consultation of workers and worker unions and other worker organizations rather than being pushed to us through gazette notices and dictatorial policy pronouncements! Forced taxation through statutory deductions is an unfair labour practice and denies workers a key fundamental labour right that should be protected. Please do not push us to make poverty our choice by making us not fit from freedom rather loading us with taxes without asking us to have a say!

Please stop overtaxing me…. Remember what Joe Biden said…  “In the middle of a recession, where we’re just climbing out of it, where the economy-unemployment is still at 9.7 percent, the idea of raising taxes and reducing spending is a prescription for disaster”  For my beloved country Kenya, we are in an inflationary period the effect is suicidal, we are at the top of the hill, unemployment daringly high and the government is raising taxes and reducing spending in the name of borrowing from within, this is a prescription for a disaster and we are going to fall … and the fall is going to be with a thud!

Allow me to quote from Maco Rubio as I conclude:

“We don’t need new taxes. We need new taxpayers, people that are gainfully employed, making money and paying into the tax system. And then we need a government that has the discipline to take that additional revenue and use it to pay down the debt and never grow it again” This is the Kenya we want!