In his budget speech, the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury, CS Henry Rotich acknowledged the need to boost excise revenue. In whose regard, he proposed a 15% increase on excise duty on cigarettes, wines and spirits.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 70% excise tax share of the final consumer price, this move has been lauded by the Kenyan tobacco control fraternity as a step in the right direction. The Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance (KETCA) Chairman, quoted below cites this as a positive step towards a tobacco-free Kenya
On behalf of Tobacco Control fraternity in Kenya, I laud the progress that the country is making towards a tobacco-free Kenya. The tax increase has been proven as one of the very effective ways of reducing the demand for tobacco products. We are leading in the region and hope to continue doing so. Besides raising revenue, the government is able to contribute towards Universal Health Coverage.Mr Joel Gitali, The Chairman, Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance
It’s our hope and prayer that taxes collected will be put to the intended use. More resources should be directed towards tobacco control. The money should not go into lining individuals’ pockets.
According to KETCA Chair, The Government needs to do the following to sustain the progress in tobacco control:
- Seal the loopholes used by tobacco companies to evade and avoid remitting taxes.
- Ratify the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products as required by the FCTC
- Expedite the processes required to operationalize the Tobacco Control Fund (TCF) as provided for in the national tobacco control law, the Tobacco Control Act CAP245A
- To fully implement and enforce the Tobacco Control Act