TAX INCREASE ON CIGARETTES AND ALCOHOL LAUDABLE.

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.

¬†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.

Mr Joel Gitali, The Chairman, Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance

According to KETCA Chair, The Government needs to do the following to sustain the progress in tobacco control: