Dear Mr Michuki,
My name is the taxpayer and they also call me Wanjiku, Wafula or Anyango. I am the guy you have been taking from Sh10,361 from my 50something thousand shillings salary. And I am not alone we are millions of us some paying less than Sh1,100 and others paying hundreds of thousands.
I earn more than Sh11,135 per month and I am therefore eligible for Pay As You Earn (PAYE). You always take Sh1,016 for my first ten thousand shillings, you then take Sh1,436 for the next Sh9,576. Then you charge another Sh1,915 for the next similar portion, then Sh2,394 for the next portion. You are not yet done as you then charge me another 30 per cent for anything else I earn above Sh38,892.
In other words, I am the one who has been funding the government in all its operations including paying salaries for members of parliament. The MPs are the fellows who blackmailed you yesterday into withdrawing a proposal by your predecessor to tax their hefty allowances. These guys earn up to Sh500,000 monthly in allowances, which is like 10 times my earnings.
Well may be you had no option since the finance bill has to be passed for the country to run smoothly but I need to inform you this. With my Sh10,000 tax, I help you buy medicine for my village health centre and yet I cannot afford drugs and proper meals for my ailing grandmother.
With my remaining Sh40,000, I have rent to pay in one of Nairobi’s ‘middle class’ estates. I also pay electricity and water bills that have in the last one year doubled. When I factor in my daily bus fare, my family’s food budget and school fees for my two sons in primary school, you leave me with little if not nothing to put in my savings account.
Food prices have gone up globally and I must remind you that even here you do not spare me. You take a certain percentage of whatever I pay for the different basic products in the name of Value Added Tax.
And did I mention that my parents are living on pension after years in the civil service. They are now farmers but as you saw recently they were uprooting tea bushes due to the low returns. Yes, I have no option but to show gratitude for taking care of me in my earlier years by topping up what they have.
My village considers me one of their important sons. Thus, they have invited me as a guest of honour in three harambees to aid different women and youth groups in the village.
Trust me if you even only took 10 per cent from the allowances of the 222 selfish individuals in the August house, they will be still be left with enough money to comfortably support four individuals like me. It would also add Sh11.1 million shillings to your Treasury account every month.
I know they are capable of not passing the Finance Bill thus crippling the country in the remaining part of this financial year. Therefore, I am suggesting that you withdraw the proposal yes but prepare another bill that will either enable a reduction in their allowances or strip them the powers to interfere with the Finance Bill.
Alternatively, you can reduce taxes for us and let us see where their salaries will come from. I will be glad to give you less and have more to meet my needs.
PS: While me and the other millions of Taxpayers report to our work places for 5 days a week, those fellows in parliament only attend sessions three days a week. And some are seen in their constituency offices only twice in a month.
The Tax Payer.