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Here is why your phone and internet costs might go up from July

Telephone calls, SMS and internet services could cost more from tomorrow if the president goes ahead to sign the Finance-Bill. In an amendment to the bill, parliament had introduced new taxes on airtime.

With an increase of excise duty from 15% to 20%, treasury is expecting to raise KES 8 billion from telcos.

Industry commentators are now warning that with government services such as drivers’ licenses, land transfers, parking and license fees going exclusively digital, this is expected to result in a hike in data costs.

Internet access and penetration levels, which have in the recent past been increasing due to data costs are also expected to slow down.

Perhaps the worst hit will be youth-led innovation and employment – which is currently driven by access to fast and affordable internet.

Other industries affected by amendments to the finance bill include banking, manufacturing and sports betting sectors of the economy.

All eyes, for now, remain trained on President Uhuru Kenyatta who has already received the bill for signing. Will he go ahead and sign the bill as it is despite the increased taxes on airtime and internet not being part of Treasury’s plans, and bound to have a negative effect on some of his administration’s key pillars?

 

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