Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Government should control Prices of essential goods
Members of parliament have frozen a proposal by the Ministry of finance to have their salaries taxed. It’s a negative show reflecting selfishness and greed from our leaders. We know it’s not easy to rescind this move and now want to see what think about thousands of Kenyans who cannot afford a meal. We call upon the MPs to extend sympathy to Kenyans living in abject poverty by voting to have the government regulate the prices of essential commodities like sugar, rice and flour. The options are many to ease the suffering of Kenyans in the current hard economic times. Why can’t they do something that will bring a sigh of relief to Kenyans like scaling down Value added Tax (VAT) from 16% to around 10% if they real ? The festive season has knocked on the door. We implore them to do something for Kenyans. For them, a decent meal is not a big deal; they can afford many luxuries, their children goes to better schools …majority of Kenyans are living in squalor. Food is a “human rights issue.” It must be taken seriously by any government. You can do without “shelter” and “clothing” but you can’t do without food. It’s the fuel of life in a human body; without it, you cease to live. If MPs will protect the interests of Kenyans who votes them into office, we can conclude that they are mindful of our suffering. We call upon our political leaders beginning from the President and the Prime Minister to treat the issue of food prices as a national emergency if they have a flair of empathy to the suffering citizens. When the government used to control the prices of essential goods before it was scrapped in 1994 there was no rampant increase of prices like it is today. I am not an economist but making Kenya a free market economy as accelerated the burden to many Kenyans especially the poor. Before price controls were scrapped in 1994, we never used to experience rampant price increases. We need price controls to protect people in low income brackets from unscrupulous traders who have taken advantage of the current market to exploit the poor by hiking prices abnormally. Any bureaucracy that hurts the lives of citizens must be abolished. That is why Parliament, as the custodian of public interest must be seen to protect the citizens’ interest by amending laws which are not in tandem with the wellbeing of Kenyans.