The High Court has declared sections of the finance bill unconstitutional dealing a blow to the government’s plan to raise revenue to meet its budget.
In her ruling Justice Wilfrida Okwany dismissed taxes on mobile money transfer, imported vehicles and bottled water as null and void.
The ruling coming as the National Assembly finance committee grilled Treasury CS Henry Rotich on the Government’s plan to raise revenue ahead of debate on the Presidential memorandum on the finance bill on Thursday.
MP’s questioned the logic in the proposed taxes which they argued were insensitive to the plight of the common Mwananchi and would only serve to increase the cost of living.
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Rotich urged MPs to consider the President’s memorandum arguing that Kenya stands to benefit from the new tax regime, in realizing the deficit in its budget.
But as Rotich was defending the government’s plan on raising revenue, the High Court had other ideas after activist Okiya Omtatah challenged the taxes proposal arguing there was no public participation.
The latest setback from the courts comes as MPs prepare to debate the President’s memorandum proposing a raft of measures aimed at meeting the government’s 2018/2019 budget.
The memorandum targets to raise more revenue by increasing levy on fuel products to 8%, as well as increasing taxes on sugar confectioneries, money transfers, betting companies and winners, housing fund and Kerosene.
On Thursday MPs will debate the President’s proposals where the memorandum will require at least 233 of the 349 MPs to either alter the President’s view or shoot it down all together.
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