Finance Bill 2023 On PWDs

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The finance bill 2023 carries a lot of government policies on the economy which means if enacted persons with disabilities will also be affected.

However, during public participation persons with disabilities were not involved as the bill now awaits the third reading and then the final stage to become a law.

Most of the taxation proposals in the bill will have a negative impact on the livelihoods of persons with disabilities.

Unemployment is one of the major challenges facing persons with disabilities in the country, which the government should have addressed, however, according to Women Leaders with Disabilities led by former nominated MP Denitah Ghati the government and the county governments have not reached the 5 percent employability threshold for PWDs and has not been highlighted in the 2023 budget which calls for concerns.

Equal job opportunities for PWDs eliminate barriers to their participation in decision-making processes in society hence there is a need for their livelihood issues to be addressed.

Most persons with disabilities have no reliable sources of income, they depend on the informal sector which according to the proposals in the bill will be burdened.

The bill proposes the VAT on petroleum products be increased to 16% from 8% – This means fuel prices will be higher than the current prices, which will have a negative impact on transportation costs persons with disability incur while meeting their needs.

However, there are notable provisions in the government budget that will address persons with disability issues – they include; provisions on social protection which include cash transfers to persons with severe disabilities, and 100% National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) which will ensure persons with disabilities have adequate standards of living.

The government also intends to set aside 15% of public-funded bursaries for learners with disabilities and partner with relevant organizations to address mental health issues.

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