Workers to go on strike over 16 percent VAT, COTU

By Jacktone Lawi

The Central Organisation of Trade Unions Kenya (COTU) has warned the government of an impending strike should the 16 percent VAT on petroleum products be implemented.

The workers Union criticised plans by the Government to introduce the tax on petroleum products that is set to begin in September saying they will call for a workers strike over the same.

COTU deputy Secretary General Benson Okwaro noted that any such attempt will increase the cost of living and strain workers.

“The Central Organization of Trade Unions is strongly opposed any further levy on the Country’s petroleum products. COTU is especially against the Treasury’s proposed 16% value added tax on these products that already taxed in other evenues” said Okwaro

The new tax will increase fuel prices by up to Sh17 per litre, in the new plan, petrol prices will shoot to more than Sh131.93 in Nairobi, while diesel and kerosene will rise from the current Sh102.74, and Sh84.95 per litre, to highs of Sh119.38, and Sh98.54, respectively.

The Deputy SG noted that it’s the Kenyans who will suffer with the new implementation calling on the government to venture into new revenue collection than affecting basic services and commodities since the increased costs will be transferred to consumers in form of increased commodity prices.

“The government remains keen on pushing punitive measures to the citizens. Any such increase by the Treasury Cabinet Secretary will translate to an automatic increase in the cost of living and strain the operations and growth of businesses in the country.” He added.

Next week the union will meet other sectorial commissions concerning the same after which they will decide the way forward

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