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News about our programmes 30, Sept. 2014

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Advocacy & campaigns

Tax justice in Kenya

Help us reach our goal of 20,000 signatures

2013-05-30, Issue 632

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/87614

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Kenya’s poorest are about to be hit with a staggering 16% tax increase on basic goods, while large corporations enjoy huge tax breaks that only benefit the richest

Kenya loses over Kshs 100 billion (about US$ 1.1 billion) every year to tax incentives, avoidance and exemptions, [1] more than the annual national budget for health and sanitation. But rather than crack down on corporate tax cheats, the government is proposing this huge increased tax on basic commodities like maize flour (Unga), bread and milk.

To make matters worse, talks have recently come to light between the City of London and the Kenyan government, aimed at modelling Kenya’s financial system on the City of London: Tax Haven Capital of the World [2]. This is a worrying signal of the future direction of the country. People in Kenya know this, and are mobilising to reject the ‘Unga tax’ and demand a fairer, transparent tax system which drives development for everyone.

Thousands of people in Kenya are coming together to protest this outrageous new tax. In community forums, Matatu (public bus) rides and using social media, ordinary Kenyans are organizing to say no to the Unga tax bill.

Everyone in Kenya wants the country to develop as fast as it can; inequality and poverty are far too high. But if the Kenyan government does this by copying the values and model of the Tax Haven Capital of the World, they will be handing over power, and the country’s future prosperity, to the global financial elite. Even the IMF says tax havens, and the system of tax breaks and holidays undermine development [3]. Kenya’s future can be built on the strengths and ingenuity of all of its people, not the secrecy and greed of the City of London.

Call on Kenya’s parliament to make Kenya truly the pride of Africa, setting an example of tax justice, rather than financial greed.

Click here to sign.

This campaign is led by:
Bunge la Mwananchi
Bunge la Wamama
Mashinani Disability Focus Africa – Kenya
East African Tax Justice Network
Kamunkunji Youth Congress
Kenyan Asian Forum
Kiambu Young Women Alliance
Tax Justice Network - Africa, /The Rules
Unga Revolution


Notes:

[1] http://www.gfintegrity.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=149&Itemid=70 and IMF (2006): ‘Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania: Selected Issues’, 1, p.11

[2] https://www.therules.org/en/actions/stop-stealing-our-wealth

[3] IMF (2006): ‘Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania: Selected Issues’, 1, p.11


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