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DP Gachagua asks Azimio to stop misleading Kenyans on Finance Bill

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has asked Azimio La Umoja Kenya One Alliance leaders to stop misleading the public on the provisions of the Finance Bill 2023.

Speaking in Mathira Constituency, Nyeri County, during the burial of Mary Muthoni, DP Gachagua said the Opposition is sharing wrong information on the Bill, more so on the Housing Fund.

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He said the proposed 3pc deduction to the housing Fund will only apply on employees

He said the Azimio politicians are using the Bill to gain political mileage in their claims that the Fund for Affordable Housing is mandatory to all Kenyans.

“The Housing Fund is for the employed; it is aimed at creating jobs for the youth,” said Gachagua.

The Deputy President dismissed claims that the Finance Bill, 2023 will burden Kenyans and raises the cost of living. He said the Bill, which is before Parliament, has many good measures to ease the cost of living if Parliament adopts it.

For instance, he said, Value Added Tax on Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) has been slashed.

“The prices of the cooking gas will fall and the income for coffee will increase. Opposition leaders are lying to the public,” said the Deputy President.

President William Ruto’s Administration has asked MPs through the Finance Bill, 2023 to exempt cooking gas from the eight percent VAT.

He said cheap gas will also reduce reliance on charcoal and firewood.

“All MPs in Kenya Kwanza are behind President William Ruto in the Finance Bill, 2023. Only one from the Central Kenya region is making noise; it is democracy,” he said.

He spoke as debate for the Consideration of Financial Year 2023/24 Budget Estimates in the National Assembly.

At the upcoming Coffee Summit scheduled to start tomorrow (Friday), the Deputy President said the forum will come up with lasting reforms to the sub-sector.

“We have a three-day meeting with leaders from coffee growing counties to discuss coffee reforms. We won’t fail. We will remove brokers so that farmers can sell their produce directly and earn more money. This is the time to reform it,” said the Deputy President.

The government intends to deal firmly with the multiple brokers and middlemen in the coffee production chain, so as to improve the situation of the farmers.

The coffee stakeholders expected to attend the summit include the government officials (county and national), lawmakers, governors, coffee farmers, experts, marketers and roasters among others.

President Ruto tasked his deputy to lead the coffee sector reforms spearheaded by the Coffee sub-sector Reforms Implementation Standing Committee.

On the ongoing operation by the government against illicit brews in the Central Kenya region, the Deputy President said so far the exercise is bearing fruit.

“Chiefs and administrators must work hard and eradicate illicit brews. Work on the project and ensure no drug in their areas of jurisdiction,” he said.

The Deputy President added that development projects that stalled in Mathira during the last regime because of bad politics will be revived.

He was accompanied by his spouse Pastor Dorcas Rigathi.

Leaders present included Nyeri Senator Wahome Wamatinga and MPs Eric Wamumbi (Mathira), John Kiragu (Limuru) and John Kaguchia (Mukurweini).

The leaders praised the government’s efforts to reform the coffee subsector and eradicate the illicit brews.

They also told off their colleagues for opposing the Finance Bill, 2023 and demonizing the proposed tax measures.

“It is totally insincere and hypocritical to fight the Finance Bill and at the same time ask for development projects,” said Senator Wamatinga.

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