It is very rare for Members of Parliament to advance the interests of the public ahead of theirs.
However that was not the case on August 29 when legislators vetoed government plans to re-introduce 16% Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale had on March this year tabled the Energy Bill which proposed to increase taxes imposed on petroleum products as the National Treasury moved to plug its budget deficit.
On Wednesday, MPs voted to delay introduction of the tax. The house resolved to have it introduced in September 2020.
Had the bill sailed through, it would have resulted in more pain for consumers as prices of goods, services and fare would have hiked.
“This House has been accused of not being sensitive to the needs of the people. It is time we side with them and I plead that we postpone this tax to 2020,” said Suna east MP Janet Mohammed who moved the ammendment.
Earlier this week. The Matatu Owners Association (MOA) threatened to increase fare for Nairobi commuters by Ksh 30-Ksh50 once the tax on petroleum products took effect from September 1.
“Taxation of fuel greatly affects operators of public service vehicles and the cost has to be passed down to the passengers. We have to meet operational and maintenance costs,” said MOA Chairman Simon Kimutai during a press conference.
In what was fast becoming a matter if national interest, vehicle owners would have had to cough up Ksh132 per litre of petrol up by ksh19.
That would have meant that the Treasury would have pocketed Ksh58 from each litre of petrol sold in Kenya’s Capital.