Bar owners demand meeting with gov’t ahead of expected tax increase

Bar, hotel and liquor traders association’s chairman Simon Njoroge has called upon the government to have a conversation with them to discuss the expected rise of taxes on alcoholic drinks slated for October 1. Speaking in Kitui, Njoroge expressed worry about the tax hike, noting that the bar and hotel industry has been going through […]

Bar owners demand meeting with gov’t ahead of expected tax increase

Bar, hotel and liquor traders association’s chairman Simon Njoroge has called upon the government to have a conversation with them to discuss the expected rise of taxes on alcoholic drinks slated for October 1.

Speaking in Kitui, Njoroge expressed worry about the tax hike, noting that the bar and hotel industry has been going through a tough time after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We accept the already high taxes imposed on alcoholic drinks but we don’t agree on adding more taxes on October 1,” Njoroge said.

The bar, hotel, and liquor traders’ chairman noted that 11,000 businesses have been closed and around 55,000 youth lost their jobs during the pandemic.

“If you add more taxes we are going to close another 10,000 businesses and more youth will lose more jobs. To avoid this, the government should let things remain as they are,” Njoroge said.

He further called on the government to crack down on counterfeit alcohol in the market, insisting that the state was losing a lot of money as counterfeits are not taxed.

“The government should know that 40 per cent of the alcohol in the market is fake. The state is losing approximately Ksh4.2 billion through counterfeit alcohol,” Njoroge said.

Meanwhile, the chairman also called upon the Secretary General of the Central Organization of Traders Union (COTU) Francis Atwoli to rise to the occasion and fight for Kenyans before people close up all the businesses.

“I also urge all Kenyans to wake up and talk in unison against additional taxation,” Njoroge said.