US Advises Ruto on How to Increase Tax Collection Without Targeting ‘Same People’


US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman on Wednesday advised President William Ruto to change his tax collection strategy to a more harmonious one that will not hurt Kenyans.

Speaking during an interview on Citizen TV, Whitman urged the Kenyan Head of State to expand the tax base which she exuded confidence will create more jobs.

The former Silicon Valley executive stated that more better-paying jobs with a steady paycheck and some benefits would immensely aid the government meet its annual tax target without hurting the citizens.

According to the US Ambassador, it was difficult for the government to meet its revenue collection targets by just taxing the same people every other time.

A file image of Business mogul and US ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman.

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“Taxes are an issue in every country and what we hear from American companies is consistency, keeping taxes the same. Businesses make investments with a return horizon,” Whitman noted.

To help create more jobs for the unemployed Kenyans, the government was advised to invest more in the manufacturing sector.

“When I came (to Kenya) I thought Kenya would go from agriculture to digital but I think manufacturing is such an essential part of every economy,” the US ambassador recommended.

“The number of employees of tech company is relatively small to the number of employees per dollar of revenue of a manufacturing company.”

Whitman’s comments followed President William Ruto’s sentiments when he announced the government’s intention to impose more taxes on Kenyans.

The Head of State made the remarks on May 14 while hosting Harvard University students at State House, Nairobi. This, the President said, would help the country out of debt distress.

Ruto revealed the government’s intention to hike taxes from 14 per cent to 16 per cent by the end of 2024 and 22 per cent by the end of his first term. 

“I am not going to preside over a bankrupt country, I am not going to preside over a country that is in debt distress. We have to cut our spending,” Ruto announced.

President William Ruto at State House in May 2023.

PCS



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