In his article below Kiprono Kittony, Vice Chairman of World Chambers Federation, articulates a compelling case why we urgently need in Kenya a stimulus package to get our economy back on track and restore business confidence.
I concur with his sentiments and urge us all to reflect and share with others, even as we encourage our MPs to heed and do the necessary. The president has, of course, no choice but to push for this and we are confident he will as this relates and affects implementation of the much anticipated BBI Report, ditto his Big Four agenda.
The article is an easy read and I strongly recommend you read it but if pressed with time, here is an excerpt of his main argument:
The content of this [stimulus] package should be subject of an open dialogue between the private sector and the government. However, some basic minimums need to be included in the package.
The first basic minimum is the introduction of checks and balances to ensure the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) does not kill enterprise in the name of tax collection.
Second, all pending payments need to be released and legislation needs to be subsequently enacted to penalize offenders and cushion victims of delayed payments [from the government] who are currently in cat-and-mouse game with auctioneers.
Third, and perhaps more important, a constitutional review is needed to address the elephant in the room [and that is] over representation in the legislature. As a country, we moved from having one legislative body to having 49 (Senate, National Assembly and 47 county assemblies) without critically interrogating the cost.
The cost of running a bloated legislature explains why recurrent expenditures are spiraling out of control. This naturally puts pressure on KRA to collect more and more taxes each year, despite the fact the tax base is not expanding commensurately with the collection targets.
This in turn explains why businesses have been hit with unreasonable tax demands.
According to Kittony, and we concur, this is a recipe for disaster worse than where things stand now and therefore the need to urgently address the problem and proposed with an economy saving stimulus package as well as reducing the bloated government, starting with the numerous counties we don’t need.