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‘I’m still getting used to these things’ – Light moment as Salasya fumbles parliamentary terms

Mumias East MP Peter Salasya during parliamentary debate on the Finance Bill 2024 on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. PHOTO/Screengrab by K24 Digital
Mumias East MP Peter Salasya during parliamentary debate on the Finance Bill 2024 on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. PHOTO/Screengrab by K24 Digital

It was a light moment in parliament as Mumia East MP Peter Salasya treated fellow parliamentarians with a humourous moment as he struggled with parliamentary terminology during the Finance debate on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

Salasya attempted to raise a point of order but seemed uncertain about the correct protocol.

“I have never stood on a point of order but let me try to stand on a point of order. That’s point of order No 91?” he said, cracking his colleagues’ ribs.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Moses Wetang’ula, stepped in to clarify.

“Point of Order 31 deals with the adjournment of the House,” he explained to the already confused Salasya.

“I am standing on Point of Order 91. I’m still getting used to these things, Mr. Speaker,” he admitted, drawing more laughter from the assembly.

Salasya on Finance Bill

On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, shortly after the bill was amended and some of the proposed taxes dropped, Salasya argued that the government’s decision to remove certain contentious clauses from the Finance Bill, 2024 does not address the challenges faced by ordinary Kenyans.

The Salasya asserted that the debate on the Finance Bill, 2024 should be halted to first address the urgent issues in the Finance Act, 2023.

“Whatever has been spoken is just hot air. The way this Finance Bill has been packaged, Kenyans don’t want it, that’s the reality. Removing tax on bread alone is not the solution. Removing the Eco levy on specific things does not bring the solution,” he stated.

Adding;

“What we want is that the Finance Bill 2023 (now an Act) is still burdening Kenyans. It’s just like you move up the ladder then once at the top, another ladder is added.”

“This thing should be suspended and be taken back to the people if the President could be honest enough with Kenyans and be able to listen to Kenyans, he should have said we remove some taxes in the Finance Act, 2023.”

Finance Committee

On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, the National Assembly’s Finance and Planning Committee Chairperson Kimani Kuria announced changes to the Finance Bill 2024.

Among the key adjustments, the proposed 16% VAT on bread and VAT on the transportation of sugar have been removed. Additionally, VAT on financial services and foreign exchange transactions has been scrapped, and there will be no increase in mobile money transfer fees.

“The proposed 16 per cent VAT on bread has been removed. VAT on the transportation of sugar has also been removed. VAT on financial services and foreign exchange transactions has also been removed,” Kuria said.

Other changes include the removal of the 2.5 per cent Motor Vehicle Tax and excise duty on vegetable oil. Levies on the Housing Fund and Social Health Insurance will be income tax deductible.

“Levies on the Housing Fund and Social Health Insurance will become income tax deductible. This means the levies will not attract income tax, putting much more money in the pockets of employees,” he disclosed.

Kuria said locally manufactured products such as sanitary towels, diapers, phones, computers, tyres, and motorcycles will be exempt from the Eco Levy. The VAT registration threshold has been increased from Ksh5 million to Ksh8 million, reducing the need for small businesses to register.

The responsibility for electronic invoicing ETIMS by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has been removed for farmers and small businesses with a turnover below Ksh1 million.

The Molo MP also said excise duty will be imposed on imported table eggs, onions, and potatoes. Additionally, the excise duty on alcoholic beverages will now be based on alcohol content rather than volume, with higher alcohol content attracting more duty. The exemption for pension contributions has also been increased from Ksh20,000 to Ksh30,000.

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