“I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle,” says Winston Churchill.
This quote perfectly describes the situation the Kenya Kwanza government is facing. The big question remains, what can be done to fix our current economic downturn and cut the deficit? It might not be simple but the Kenya Kwanza regime has to invest in long-term alternatives and not tax increases.
Will taxes be their only option to bring back the economy to life?
Many factors contribute to economic growth, one of them being tax cuts. The cuts are meant to put more money into the pockets of the consumers. More money will increase the consumers purchasing power.
Businesses will have enough money to procure capital, improve technology, grow and expand. All these actions aim at growing the economy. However, the opposite is being done by President Ruto.
Before rushing for the international markets, the Kenya Kwanza government should first take control of the around 57 million people within its jurisdiction. The government should promote local industries by encouraging the ‘made in Kenya’ economic model. Kenya imports most of its products including basics like matchboxes.
This should not be the case. It is time we invested in local industries and stopped importing everything. The government should build and support processing industries for the raw materials present within our borders. Why should we export coffee, tea leaves, animal products and petroleum only for us to import the final products?
In order to spur economic growth, the government must fight corruption. The revelations that some top politicians steal funds and hoard money in foreign banks are hurting the economy. This pulls money from the economy and reduces cash flow. Instead, foreign nations benefit a lot. They invest, provide loans to their people and get huge profits from those loans.
Creating more employment opportunities is an important issue. Before taxing the people, provide them with jobs and decent salaries. Even cows need to be fed well for one to get more milk.
Kenya Kwanza government should collaborate with parastatals and private enterprises to provide ways of absorbing the many unemployed Kenyans. This can be done by providing paid internship opportunities and encouraging the youth to volunteer.
The Kenya Kwanza government must also reduce its spending. However, all eyes are now on the MPs to see whether they will pass the 2023 Financial Bill or not. As George Bernard Shaw said, “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” Will Paul support the government or sympathise with Peter?
Edwin Hinda, Nairobi