President Kenyatta Friday signed into law Finance Bill 2018, which was passed by the National Assembly amid chaos on Thursday afternoon. Uhuru vowed to ensure proper use of public funds putting more emphasis to the fight against corruption.
“I give my commitment that I will ensure proper utilisation of public resources for a better Kenya. I will not relent on the war against corruption,” Uhuru said after assenting to the Finance Bill. MPs passed the presidential memorandum to the Finance Bill which aims to raise funds to support the budget.
The National Treasury will now be free to raise up to Sh30 billion through the eight per cent levy on fuel products.More money will be raised from money transfer charges, sugar confectioneries, betting companies and winnings, VAT on kerosene and the newly introduced housing fund. The memorandum proposed a deletion of 0.05 per cent “Robin Hood” tax regime, which had been proposed on the money transfers of at least Sh500,000.
Betting companies will be charged 15 per cent on top of the 30 per cent they pay on corporate income, while the winners will have to part with 20 percent of their winnings to the Treasury.
Uhuru also signed into law the Coast Guard Bill 2018. The new law establishes the Kenya Coast Guard Service, which will be responsible for enforcing maritime security and safety, pollution control and sanitation measures as well as prosecution of offenders.
The Coast Guard Service will also be responsible for port and coastal security, search and rescue, and the protection of maritime resources including fisheries.
Present during the ceremony were Deputy President William Ruto, Speaker Justin Muturi, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.
Also present were National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, Attorney General Paul Kariuki, Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge and Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto.
Meanwhile, the fact that Uhuru’s austerity measures have also eaten into Parliament’s budget is seen as the more reason to have incensed the legislators since they have always closed ranks, both the majority and minority sides, to pass laws increasing their salaries at the expense of struggling taxpayers.But the vote was also a big test for the handshake between Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga.