Feeling the pinch of the Finance Act 2018

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Kenyans are finally starting to feel the pinch of the Finance Act 2018 as Safaricom, the dominating service provider in the country, has eventually passed on the burden of the revised excise duty to its customers by increasing its voice, SMS and data prices.

As a result of the new law, Safaricom increased its voice calls and data prices by 30 cents while the SMS price was increased by 10 cents.

“We wish to notify our customers that from the midnight of 18th October 2018, our headline price for voice calls and data will increase by 30 cents and SMS by 10 cents,” the telco’s CEO, Bob Collymore he said.

He accredited the increase in prices as a result of the increase in excise duty from 10% to 15% as contained in the recently signed to law, Finance Act 2018. He said that the mobile telecommunication company has also been in consultation with government on the impact, timing and exact nature of services that the taxes in the Finance Act 2018 will affect.

In addition, the CEO also said that there will be a change in the data sector in effect to the new 15% excise duty on internet services.

“We have also reviewed our prices for mobile data bundles, Fibre-To-The-Building (FTTB) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) to effect the new 15% excise duty tax on internet services,” he said.

He also assured customers that the company has filed the full tariff changes with the Communications Authority of Kenya as required by law and are now available from the Safaricom website, USSD, and all the customer touchpoints.

“We are aware of and regret the impact these additional taxes will have on our customers. It is our sincere hope that these changes will not affect the remarkable gains we have made in mobile phone
and internet penetration in Kenya over the last two decades,” he added.