Uhuru rules out tax relief to ease Covid lockdown pain

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Economy

Uhuru rules out tax relief to ease Covid lockdown pain


President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses the nation from State House, Nairobi on March 12, 2021.

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Summary

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has ruled out tax reliefs and economic stimulus for workers and businesses following the imposition of a new lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Head of State said possible tax relief will be targeted at sectors hard hit by the fresh restrictions like hospitality in the five counties including Nairobi Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado and Nakuru.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has ruled out tax reliefs and economic stimulus for workers and businesses following the imposition of a new lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

The Head of State said possible tax relief will be targeted at sectors hard hit by the fresh restrictions like hospitality in the five counties including Nairobi Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado and Nakuru.

Mr Kenyatta last week restricted movement in and out of the five, imposed a stricter night curfew and ordered closure of bars , churches and in-person schooling. The State reckons that the national government will instead engage the regional governments to offer reliefs like levy and rates waiver to ease their suffering.

“We have a problem in the hospitality sector, we are also likely to have a problem in the entertainment sector and we will look to see how we can work together to support some of these sectors,” Mr Kenyatta said yesterday.

“But that has to be on an issue by issue basis because when you talk tax you talk about the whole country, we will have to look at wherever measures that can specifically apply to within particular counties.”

The restrictions have raised fears of a second wave of job losses and pay cuts across sectors in an economy that dipped into recession in the third quarter of last year at the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

Business lobby, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday petitioned for emergency relief measures for the worst-hit industries, such as the entertainment, hospitality, and transportation sectors.

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