Saturday, November 29, 2008

MP Taxation - Who is Fooling Who

I have been following the MPs taxation debate keenly, but also with a lot of anger. First I felt angry watching the speaker equate paying of taxes with charity, and then upon hearing that the minister for Industrialization said that he did not know where taxes go therefore he could not pay taxes (surely if a cabinet minister does not know where taxes go, what then is expected of us mortals?). The prime minister is on record as saying that the MPs have too much commitment to pay taxes (mortgages and loans), as if we ordinary Kenyans are also not interested in the finer things of life as well. My anger dissipated as soon as I realized that we are dealing with politicians anyway and therefore they are just keeping in character.

Things however got a bit complicated when I started hearing that there were MPs who were now 'volunteering' to have their pay taxed. Make no mistake, I appreciate people submitting themselves to be taxed, but this is mere hypocricy. Would it not have made sense for them to stand on the floor of the House and actually vote for taxation? The cabinet, if you count the assistant ministers, has slightly over 90 MPs...I am sure if the President, the PM and Michuki whipped them in line, then we would have seen a real commitment by the Government to have the proposals pushed through, and even if the Government lost in the process, Kenyans who have been able to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Lastly, how will the public be able to keep tabs on the so called tax volunteers? Will they publish their payslips every month for us to ascertain that indeed they have been taxed?

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