President William Ruto has defended the increase of tax on fuel saying as he assumed office he found a huge crisis of fuel adding that the subsidy that was there was just a pledge.
Ruto said he is going to increase the VAT by 8% to raise Sh50 billion from the enhanced VAT on petroleum products, saying he has removed tax on the same fuel 2% of IDF, 3.5% road development levy and 8% VAT on gas.
He said by doing so he will be helping the country to reduce borrowing as he cited that the tax collected will be used on tangible projects that will be beneficial to its citizens.
The President said he has done away with a number of taxes in the proposed 2023/24 budget that will reduce the pain on Kenyans as he said that he has cut down on unnecessary expenditure hence reducing the budget by 300 billion.
President Ruto revealed that IMF wanted Kenya to borrow slightly more but he refused saying he has reduced the money that is borrowed from 1.1 trillion last year to 630 billion this year since he realized as a country it is not in a good place due to debts.
On the 3% salary deduction of government employees to build affordable houses that has faced opposition, President Ruto defended the housing plan which he promised Kenyans during campaigns saying it is a way of creating job opportunities to young people and to remove Kenyans from slum.
He said the proposed levy is not a tax but rather a win-win project that will see Kenyans get homes when the right time comes. He said he has plans to build 200,000 houses every year, a project he said has two sections; social housing and affordable housing, saying social housing targets those with low income and affordable housing will target everyone.
Ruto said he is pushing so that an office of the leader of opposition is created in the Parliament which will be funded by the government of Kenya to help public resources be used appropriately.
On the reduction of gas cylinder prices as he had promised that it will drop from Ksh.2800 to Ksh.300 or Ksh.500 from the month of June, Ruto assured Kenyans that the plan is still in place though until when the budget will be approved.