Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday explained that the unpopular tax on fuel was necessary, even as he proposed to cut it from 16% to 8%.
His government faced a strike by some fuel dealers, anger among commuters and a lawsuit after it triggered a hike in transport and fuel prices by imposing the 16 percent value added tax on all petroleum products on Sept. 1.
Kenyatta explained that the Finance Bill 2018 that was presented to him on Thursday was ‘good politics, but bad leadership’.
Kenyatta, who is serving his second and final term, told Kenyans that the 2010 constitution that championed devolution to boost service delivery, substantially increased the cost of running government.
Kenyan then highlighted the development objectives that have been realised through the revenue collected from taxes, including infrastructure and healthcare projects.
Following the widespread anger that followed the implementing of the 16% tax on petroleum products, the president said he would compromise, describing his actions as ‘balancing between short-term pain and long-term gain’.