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Finance Bill 2023, A Bad Idea for The Sports Industry in Kenya

The Finance Bill 2023 has received close to nill support from the public, with President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua indicating that given Kenya Kwanza’s majority in Parliament, it is likely to pass. Kenya Finance Bill Sports

Social media is overflowing with complaints about the FinanceBill, which the Kenya Kwanza government is determined to enact into law in order to facilitate the government’s operations.

The Finance Bill‘s 3% housing levy, higher VAT, and increased taxation on businesses in the insurance and gaming industries, among other areas, are contentious topics.

While expanding the revenue base of the government will aid Kenya in resolving its current financial problem, Ruto and his administration should go slow on some sectors that have persistently supported sports teams and competitions even when the government has turned a blind eye.

Sports in Kenya have traditionally been neglected whenever important issues of national significance are raised. Politicians only take notice of and send out congratulations via Twitter when one of our athletes achieves noteworthy accomplishments like Faith Kipyegon did last weekend by shattering the 1,500 m world record.

Read Also: Media Owners Association Reject Tax on Betting, Alcohol and Advertising

Kenyans still well recall how SportPesa brought Theo Walcott and Everton to the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani. Due to SportPesa‘s sponsorship of the league as title sponsor, local powerhouses Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards were able to sign some of the top players in Africa, making the Kenyan Premier League one of the best leagues in the continent.

At that time, firms like Britam Insurance, Betika, and Betway also sponsored other KPL teams like Mathare United, Kariobangi Sharks, and Sofapaka.

In addition to harming the reputation of insurance businesses, the planned VAT on claim payouts and the current withholding tax on premiums paid by insureds will further diminish Kenya’s already meager three percent insurance penetration rate.

In the same way, betting companies do not see a compelling justification for the proposed rise in tax on betting and winnings. Increasing taxes on these two industries will only help to drive them away because they have made significant contributions to the development of Kenyan sports.

The advances earned over the past years will eventually be steadily erased, and athletes will be the ones who suffer.

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