Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has told off opponents of Finance Bill 2023, saying they are yet to offer a better suggestion on how the country will get itself out of the current economic situation.
Mudavadi who dismissed claims that the government was exerting punitive taxes on Kenyans, instead says, if adopted, the legislation will give President William Ruto’s administration a chance to raise revenue to boost the economy and government operations.
“Do not just criticize and oppose what the government is proposing yet you are not giving us an alternative on how we will get solutions to fill the existing gaps. For those opposing we are asking them what is the alternative proposition,” Mudavadi said
The Prime CS says the situation in which the country finds itself at the moment calls for tough decisions, some of which will be painful in the short-term, but beneficial in the long term.
“We have to look at this conversation holistically since we are on the journey to revamp our economy and as government, we have an obligation to grow our people,” said PCS
He made the remarks at the Bomas of Kenya when he addressed members of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI).
“It is clear why we are where we are as a country in terms of the hurdles we are facing to try and fix our economy. But the truth of the matter remains that we have been elected and we cannot continue crying, we need to now start finding solutions. The solutions must be local and we need to work towards the improvement of our society, we have no choice but to work together,” he affirmed.
He urged members of the chamber to support the government in changing the current debate on the Finance Bill 2023, as government means well for the citizens.
“We have to change this debate about the Finance Bill 2023. There is no country globally that can sustain itself without taxes. No government has any resources other than those it gets through taxation.” said Mudavadi.
“The truth of the matter is that the pain we are feeling as a nation is because fewer people have been paying taxes and the tax-man has been repeatedly coming back to the same people again. So, we need to find a way of broadening that space and we have to make some sacrifices, painful at the beginning but once we change the debate, Kenyans will realize the government means good for its people,” added Mudavadi.
He also defended the new house levy saying the idea has been misconceived and politicized to make Kenyans feel like the Government is imposing a burden on them.
He accused leaders rallying Kenyans to reject the proposal of mischief and selfishness.
“Let me put this question to Kenyans; if I Mudavadi has finished educating my children – can I begin by saying that since my children have finished all the stages then I have no obligation to contribute to an education fund. Is that morally, right? Is that how you build a nation, by assuming that since you have finished a certain league then you have no obligation for anybody else to get involved?” posed Mudavadi.
He said the debate must change from mere talk to how effective the fund will be managed and then shift the conversation to how to provide shelter to Kenyans as a constitutional requirement just as government is obligated to provide food, clean water, universal health care, and other services.