14 June 2019

Kenyans Back Government Plan to Increase Excise Duty On Alcohol and Cigarettes

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AUTHOR: By JULIE OWINO, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 - Majority of Kenyans agree with the government's proposal to increase excise duty by the tobacco and alcohol.

Speaking to Capital Newsbeat, a section of them said consumption of alcohol and cigarette smoking are pleasures of life that one can survive without.

"Taking alcohol does not in any way curb stress, once your mind clears you will still have to face the matter you were running away from, " said Business man Maina Njenga.

"Taking alcohol is just thrilling but there is no value it contributes to one's life, so with this, CS Rotich has done a great job," a shopkeeper in Nairobi CBD added.

"Cigarette is harmful to our health and that is one thing we do not realize, he should continue increasing taxes on this so that eventually Kenyans can learn how to survive without depending on things that make them broke," Louis Otieno a Boda Boda rider said.

Others proposed the government should continue increasing taxes for Kenyans to shift their focus on lifetime investments.

"Your child cannot miss school because you use your money to buy alcohol and smoke cigar, actually the government should continue doing so that people learn how to invest on lifetime programs," said John Wamalwa a matatu tout. "If this will help Kenyans make sober decisions then the government should continue adding taxes, especially for cigarettes," added Peter Wambua a bus driver.

While tabling the 2019/2020 financial budget, Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich proposed Cigarettes, wines, and spirits excise duty to be raised by 15 percent. With this, a bottle of whiskey will go up by Sh24 while the price of a a packet of cigarettes will increase by Sh8.

The National Treasury has also proposed a 30 to 35 percent excise duty rate on high-end vehicles with the rate for 1500cc engine cars set to vary between 20 and 25 percent. The excise duty on vehicles powered by electricity will be reduced by 10 percent in a bid to encourage the use of environmentally friendly automobiles.

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