Rotich targets young people with new taxes on alcohol, betting

More trouble for Kenyan youth

Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich poses with the traditional budget briefcase outside Parliament

Treasury CS Henry Rotich on Thursday read out the 2019/2020 budget that appeared to target young Kenyans with new taxes on alcoholic products and betting.

In his speech, Rotich proposed 10% Excise Duty tax on all betting stakes.

“In order to curtail the negative effect arising from betting activities, I propose to introduce excise duty on betting activities at 10% of the amount staked,” the Treasury boss said.

This means that for every Sh100 placed on a bet, KRA will automically take Sh10 even before the betting company can calculate the winnings.

The government has in the past targeted betting companies with a 20 percent tax on all winnings – although the matter has since been challenged in court.

Rotich also went after alcohol consumers, many of them young people, by increasing 15 percent tax, in the form of excise duty on alcohol. A similar excise duty was placed on cigarretes.

Over the past decades, successive Finance Ministers in Kenya have introduced new taxes, popularly referred to as the sin tax, on alcoholic products.

The trend has led to high cost of alcoholic products and pushed frustrated Kenyans, majority of them youth, into consuming illicit liquor.

As the CS seeks to raise Sh3.2 trillion, young Kenyans in the public motorcycle sector sector have also been targeted with a proposal to compel all bodabodas have insurance for passengers.

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