03 December 2008

Kenya team to probe MPs tax plan

BBC Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Kenya's parliament has set up a committee to review MPs' generous salaries and allowances. This follows a widespread public outcry over a decision by the country's legislators to drop a proposal to tax their allowances. Kenya's 222 MPs each earn more than $10,000 (£6,800) a month but only pay tax on their basic pay of $2,500. The country is struggling to finance a 42-member coalition cabinet, and subsidise record-high food prices. But Johnstone Muthama, one of a handful of MPs who have agreed to pay taxes, criticised the move, saying it is time-wasting gimmick. "Once a tribunal is formed, it will take two, three years. So whatever advantage that will be brought by the tribunal will mean that the enactment of that act will be put into place in 2017," Mr Muthama told the BBC's Network Africa programme. He said it was the MPs' obligation to pay taxes and that he had personally remitted more than $3,000 to the revenue authority.

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