Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris Wants Ruto to Increase Taxes to Punish Banks


Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris has weighed in on the ongoing debate around the Finance Bill 2024.

The bill proposes an increase in several tax components as well as introducing other taxes as Ruto seeks to reduce Kenya’s appetite for debts to finance government projects.

In a statement on Thursday, May 16, Passaris said she wants the 5 per cent withholding tax on the interest income earned from infrastructure bonds should be increased to 20 per cent.

This, she argued, will punish banks and deter them from investing all money in the government’s infrastructure bonds at the expense of lending to common citizens.

A person holding 1,000 Kenyan shillings notes

Photo

Reuters

“In my opinion, the proposed 5% withholding tax on the interest income earned from infrastructure bonds should be increased to 20% so as to completely bar commercial banks, pension funds and Saccos from lending to the government. They ought to concentrate on businesses, not government,” she stated.

While defending the proposed taxes, she explained that the country had pending bills which are suffocating counties.

She further lamented that the government should tie the loose ends in the government when collecting taxes to avoid the misuse and misappropriation of public taxes.

“Now is the time to seriously tighten the belt and show it by action. No-go zones are; the health, education and security sectors. Healthy and skilled people in a secure environment are more productive. A healthy nation is a wealthy nation,” she added in an earlier interview.

Passaris’ statement comes hours after she said she will vote in support of the Finance Bill 2024 which has seen many Kenyans complain because it proposes higher taxes.

In a video posted on TikTok, the Woman Representative lauded President William Ruto for his work ethic in serving Kenyans.

She emphasised that just because she was in Azimio does not prevent her from supporting the President or commending him for a good job running the country. She further stated, “I love the president and the way he does things, his commitment to serve the people”.

In 2023, Passaris also voted for the Finance Bill and was fined Ksh250,000 by Azimio for this action. She however stood her ground arguing that the bill now act was good for Kenyans.

President William Ruto at State House in May 2023.

PCS



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