Senators urge state to cushion Kenyans against rising fuel prices

Motorists fuel at TotalEnergies Kimathi Street

Motorists fuel at TotalEnergies filling station on Kimathi Street in Nairobi on June 14, 2022. Senators want the government to use the Sh15 billion the taxman collected beyond its target in the first quarter to cushion Kenyans against the latest increase in fuel prices.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Senators want the government to use the Sh15 billion the taxman collected beyond its target in the first quarter to cushion Kenyans against the latest increase in fuel prices.

The lawmakers said the extra amount collected by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) should be utilised to shield Kenyans from the rising cost of living.

The senators also warned Energy ministry officials whom they accuse of always increasing the fuel prices despite the living costs being unbearable for most Kenyans.

They also expressed fear that with the Tuesday rise of fuel prices by Sh9 a litre— with petrol retailing at Sh159.12, diesel Sh140 and kerosene Sh127.94 per litre in Nairobi ­— campaigns for politicians seeking various seats is set to become more difficult as Kenyans will be demanding answers .

“I saw that KRA has collected more than what is expected from them, is this a sign that we are overburdening our people with a lot of taxes? Where was this extra money before? Can this money be used prudently to help the people who are suffering,” said nominated senator Rose Nyamunga.

Injustice

“Nine shillings is a lot of money in one addition. We are doing a lot of injustice to our people. It is not about ‘handshake’ or who is in government now but about the plight of people who are suffering yet, as leaders, we don’t have answers,” she added.

Marsabit Senator Gure Godana said any caring government would always put in place mechanisms to cushion its people in case there is an increase in the landing prices of fuel.

“If KRA tells us they have collected more... then they should think of how to cushion Kenyans using the money when such fuel price increase occurs,” Mr Gure said.

KRA surpassed its revenue target for the first quarter of the financial year by Sh14.9 billion after collecting Sh476.7 billion between July and September last year against a target of Sh461.73 billion.

Cost of basic goods

Nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga called on the government to stabilise fuel prices in order to make the cost of basic goods affordable to Kenyans.

“We know that when fuel prices go up, the cost of living also goes up. It is unfortunate when we see pertol prices rise by Sh9 and not the Sh2 or Sh3 we are used to. We are being unfair to Kenyans by not controlling the fuel costs,” Ms Shiyonga said.

Senators Mohamed Faki (Mombasa), Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi) and Sam Ongeri (Kisii) said the matter should be urgently handled by the Energy committee and give Kenyans answers before they adjourn indefinitely today.

Pump prices

 The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) on Tuesday increased pump prices by Sh9 per litre, pushing the cost of super and diesel to Sh159.12 and Sh140 respectively in Nairobi ,the highest in Kenya’s history.

Kerosene prices also went up by a similar margin and will now retail at Sh127 in Nairobi.

The latest rise will see petrol prices increase by Sh24 per litre in just three months.

Just before adjourning indefinitely last week, the National Assembly, in a supplementary budget, allocated an additional Sh15 billion to the Energy ministry to fund the fuel subsidy programme.


Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.