President halves betting tax to 15pc


A betting shop in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

President Uhuru Kenyatta is headed for a major showdown with MPs after he reintroduced a proposal to cut tax on gaming from 35 per cent to 15 per cent.

President Kenyatta has fired back at Parliament a memorandum that among other things requires MPs to approve a big cut on gaming taxes.

The memorandum explaining why he refused to sign the Finance Bill, 2018, into law will be delivered to MPs by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi at a special sitting this afternoon.

“We are going to reject the President’s proposal to cut tax on gambling because of its social impact. This is where we are going to differ with the President,” a House leader, familiar with the contents of the President’s memorandum and who wished not to be named, told the Business Daily last evening.

The official said the MPs might agree with the President on the memo that reintroduces the Robin Hood tax and the 0.5 Housing levy but not cuts on gambling tax.

Betting firms two weeks ago failed to secure a tax reprieve after Parliament threw out a proposal to reduce tax on gaming from 35 per cent to 15 per cent.

MPs roundly defeated the proposal by the Finance and National Planning Committee which sought to reintroduce the amendments through the Finance Bill after shelving a similar bid in June through the Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018.