Creative Industry Sounds Alarm on Proposed Finance Bill 2024

 
Nairobi, Kenya - The creative industry in Kenya has delivered a joint memorandum to the National Assembly, voicing its concerns over specific proposals in the Finance Bill 2024. The memorandum represents the collated views of over 8,000 members working in various sectors, including film, performing arts, content creation, music, visual art, literature, and sports.

According to the industry representatives, the proposed changes could have a detrimental impact on the growth and opportunities within the sector. It is noteworthy that the creative industry contributes 5% to the national GDP and is a significant contributor to a happier and healthier lifestyle in the country.

The industry has proposed that the National Assembly should reject the following proposals:

1. The amendment to increase excise duty on airtime and data, which will directly impact the digital economy and creative businesses.
2. The eco levy on video cameras, SD cards, microphones, and other equipment essential for the creative industry, which will further increase the cost of doing business.
3. The deletion of the KES 24,000 per month relief from withholding tax, which will directly impact the growth of smaller and younger creators.
4. The replacement of the 1.5% Digital Service Tax with a 20% Gross Turnover SEP Tax, which will complicate the business and make Kenya a less attractive market for global platforms.
5. The removal of exemptions for amateur sports organizations, which represent over 90% of sports in Kenya and provide the foundation for a sports-based economy.

The industry has also recommended that the digital marketplace be declared a Special Economic Zone to offer the necessary public investment and incentives for the sector to grow and compete globally.

"It is clear that the government has a vested interest in seeing Kenya's creative sector prosper," said the industry representatives. "However, the proposed changes in the Finance Bill 2024 will have a detrimental impact on the growth and opportunity within our sector. We urge the National Assembly to consider our recommendations and reject these proposals to ensure the continued success and development of the creative industry in Kenya."

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