TO THE HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF THE PARLIAMENT PAY UP YOUR TAXES; BY:MUNGAI

The debate has resurfaced again,and this time round the law is taking it’s own course,and,where it’s trying to take it’s course,the respondents are resisting,trying to dodge it and playing a blame game.And, the debate which is taking the center stage is the refusal by the Members of the Parliament to be taxed once again.The debate about parliamentarians paying taxes has consumed the public’s minds for a number of years and the constitutional stipulation that now makes it mandatory only serves to add to the urgency.

At the heart of the arguement is the fact that paying tax is a civic duty for all citizens as it provides the revenues to run the government and nobody worth paying tax can be exempted.

The members of Parliament have vowed again not to pay tax and if they do their pay package must be increased to cushion them as they were ill-prepared.And,if the reported sentiments by a section of ParliamentariansĀ  who were quoted saying otherwise,and ,if it’s anything to go by ,then we must be ready for a shocker of a lifetime as they will employ cunning ways to dodge the tax-man.Most of them do not want to remit their taxes ,as they are clearly illustrating ,insisting that there must be consultations and that’s why they are putting a spirited fight to ward off the tax man.

But.i’m appalled with the debate regarding M.Ps taxation.The constitution is clear that every kenyan be subject to taxation.And,it seems now it is as if the taxman is begging M.Ps to pay tax.It,s a matter of compliance,as every kenyan should do.

Since when was government taxation became negotiable?That Parliamentarians are threatening to revise their salaries upward should the taxman insist on backdating their salaries ,is out of touch with the reality.For the M.Ps the matter is particularly critical given the fact that they are paid very well and they make decisions on how funds should be used.If ordinary citizens ,the majority of them poor ,can pay tax ,why not Members of Parliament?

But,when all along these were philosophical arguements ,they are now constitutional ,meaning they must be observed .It is instructive that the Parliamentarians took a new oath of office after promulgation of the constitutionĀ  swore to defend it .They cannot therefore ,turnaround and make excuses because some sections of the law don’t favour them .They must live according to the letter and spirit of the law.

They should be in the forefront as regards implementation of the constitution and not defaulters of the same law they made.The new law strips them some long misused power to award themselves heavy pay package and gives this authority to the Salaries and RumenerationĀ  Commission.


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