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Raila speaks on taxes & cost of living with advice to Ruto on 4 strategies to use

Raila advises President William Ruto on how to resolve Kenya's economic challenges

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party leader Raila Odinga speaking during the during the ‘Transforming a Nation’ conference in Nairobi on Friday, November 10.

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party leader Raila Odinga has opined that Kenyans are worse off today than they were 14 months ago when President William Ruto took over from his predecessor, retired President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Odinga noted that the government’s huge appetite for taxes was counterproductive with millions of Kenyans including hustlers who Kenya Kwanza administration promised to uplift bearing the brunt of high taxes imposed by President Ruto’s administration.

While advising President Ruto on how to lower the cost of living and ease the burden on Kenyans, Odinga asked the government to slash its operating budget by Sh500 billion.

He also called for the reduction of the several taxes that have been imposed by the Kenya Kwanza regime under the Finance Act 2023 which left Kenyans with less money in the pocket in the face of soaring prices of basic commodities.

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"To release resources to achieve these objectives, the government must cut the budget by an estimated Sh500 billion. The current policies have hit low-income families particularly hard. These are the same low-income families that the administration promised to lift up,” Odinga explained during the ‘Transforming a Nation’ conference in Nairobi on Friday, November 10.

He added that what is needed as a matter of urgency is the sealing of corruption loopholes through which billions of shillings end up in the pockets of individuals.

Raila on KRA failing to meet its target and corruption

According to Odinga, this coupled with tax cuts, fiscal discipline and sustainable debt management is the key to solving the current trend of skyrocketing cost of living and increased taxation.

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“We as Azimio in line with our manifesto advocate for tax cuts, production stimulation, fiscal discipline, and realistic and sustainable debt management to tackle Kenya's economic challenges.

“Urgent action is needed to seal corruption loopholes to stop the looting, nothing less.” Odinga added.

The former Prime Minister slammed Kenya Revenue Authority for burdening tax payers with new taxes, noting that just as he warned earlier, the same is counterproductive with KRA failing to meet its targets despite increasing taxes.

"We warned at the beginning that, beyond a certain point, increasing taxes leads to lower collection. It has become real as KRA misses one revenue target after another. Tax on fuel is up, but fuel levy collection is down," Raila noted.

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Earlier this week, President William Ruto delivered his State of the Nation address in parliament, assuring Kenyans that the country is on the right track and that the current challenges are part of the sacrifices for a durable solution.

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