The position of the creative industry on the proposed Finance Bill 2024 - Njugush

• Njugush shares statement by creative industry on the controversial Finance Bill 2024

Timothy Kimani aka Njugush has officially released a statement by the Creative Industry on the proposed Finance Bill 2024.

On Monday, June 5, Njugush was among panelists weighing in on the bill on Citizen TV.

He followed that up with an official statement, where 8 organizations in film, performing arts, music, visual art, literature, and sports, submitted their views to the National Assembly committee.

"In our memorandum, we have highlighted specific proposals that will hurt the growth and opportunity within our sector. It should be noted that Kenya's creative sector contributes 5% to the national GDP, creates jobs, and is a contributor to a happier and healthier lifestyle."

They sought to remind the Government of their commitment to the creative industry.

"Further, it is clear that the government has a vested interest in seeing Kenya's creative sector prosper. Therefore, to realize the full potential of this sector."

The memorandum seeks to outline the proposals the National Assembly Committee should reject

- The proposal to amend the First Schedule of Cap 472- Part II Excisable and increase excise duty on airtime and data because this will erase the growth of the digital economy and will directly impact creative business.

For example, all musicians on SKIZA will now receive less revenue because Skiza is traded in airtime and the payments are made net of applicable taxes. We recommend that VAT and Excise on airtime internet and data be waived as this Is not a value-added product.

- The proposal in Section 45 to charge eco levy on video cameras, SD cards, CDs, microphones and other sound recording equipment, Projectors and monitors, TV broadcasting equipment, and radio broadcasting equipment because this will further increase the cost of doing business in this sector by increasing the cost of inputs.

-The proposal in Clause 25 (D). Deleting KES 24,000 per month relief from withholding tax. This will directly impact the growth of smaller and younger creators working in our sector by making it harder for them to reinvest in their craft. We further propose that this relief limit be raised to KES 49,999.

- The proposal in Clause 8. Replacement of 1.5% Digital Service Tax with SEP Tax at 20% of Gross Turnover. This proposal will complicate the business and will also portray Kenya as a hostile market globally. In addition, we anticipate that global platforms working in Kenya will now reduce their investment in Kenyan-made content and this will cause job losses.

- We recommend that there be a flat tax rate of 6% charged on profits and that the VAT currently charged on payments to these platforms be removed.1.5. The proposal to amend First Schedule to Cap 470, clause 6, and remove exemptions for amateur sports organizations.

- We would like to remind the National Assembly that amateur sports represent over 90% of Sports in Kenya and provide the foundations for the creation and development of a sports-based economy. The existing exemptions should be expanded in line with the goals of the Talanta Hela initiative by the Ministry of Sports.

- Further, while we welcome the additional recognition and broader definition of the digital marketplace in the bill. We recommend that the digital marketplace be declared a Special Economic Zone to offer this sector the necessary public investment and incentives for it to grow and be able to compete globally.

The statement was signed by 

Hubert Nakitare- Chairperson, Creative Society of Kenya.

Bernard Kioko - Chairperson, Intellection Property Owners Association.

Mathew Rabala - Chairperson, Kenya Musicians and Performers Association.

Ezekiel Onyango Chairperson, Kenya Film and Television Professionals Asociation.ال

Justus Ngemu Chairperson, Music Association Alliance of Kenya,

Mwaniki Njiru - Chairperson, Photographers Association of Kenya,

Mike Strano -  Chairperson, Partners Against Piracy Kenya,

Martin Munyua - Chairperson, Producers Guild of Kenya.

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