Kenyan MPs vote to end Covid-19 tax relief

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Kenyan MPs have voted to end tax cuts put in place in early April to help citizens to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the relief just weeks after the country recorded its first coronavirus case.

The measures included reduction of income tax, value-added tax and corporate tax by between 2% and 5%.

The steps were meant to cushion Kenyans and businesses from the pandemic which greatly affected the tourism and agriculture sectors which are the backbone of the country’s economy.

But on Tuesday MPs said the measures were not sustainable.

Last week, the finance minister announced that the country had lost nearly $600m (£450m) in revenue since the tax breaks began.

The MPs move has astounded and angered Kenyans who say the pandemic has ravaged the economy with millions of people losing their jobs and thousands of businesses closing down for good.

The country is also facing a growing health challenge as it records an increase in coronavirus cases amid a strike by doctors working in public hospitals.

The doctors have been complaining about poor working conditions and a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Despite insisting it has no money, the government is pushing forward with controversial plans to hold a referendum on changing the constitution that will cost millions of dollars.

It has also been accused of mismanaging donations and aid meant to help the country tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: BBC 

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