Oxfam: County budgets & taxes in Kenya

What do Kenyans think about how their taxes are being spent?

Oxfam: County budgets & taxes in Kenya

Africa’s Voices is growing a sustained partnership with Oxfam Kenya following a series of successful interactive radio projects.

Oxfam in Kenya is advocating for a more progressive, transparent, and accountable tax and expenditure regime – which will lead to a better mobilisation of tax revenue, improved public services, and an improved quality of life for poor, vulnerable, and marginalised populations in Kenya.

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Since 2016, Africa’s Voices has been partnering with Oxfam in Kenya to amplify citizens’ views on taxes, and their priorities for the national budget. For the baseline and midline study, radio shows were broadcast in three counties (and three languages) – Nairobi (Swahili), Turkana (Turkana) and Wajir (Somali), and listeners participated via SMS. Follow up SMS questions gathered data on socio-demographics and opinions.

INSIGHTS AND IMPACT SO FAR

  • Participants tended to agree with the payment of taxes for moral and civic reasons. People who are not satisfied with government service provision said they would be more likely to avoid paying taxes.
  • Across all of the counties, the priorities for the country and county budgets were roads, education, jobs for youth, and healthcare.
  • Compared to men, women were more concerned about health services and education, while men were more concerned about jobs and salaries.
  • The idea of unfairness is a common theme. Many participants perceive that wealthy people and those in government are exempt from or can easily avoid paying taxes.
  • Across all of the stations, there was a common perception of corruption by politicians and government officials undermines trust in the Kenyan government and the perception of its ability to competently manage taxpayers’ money.

OUTPUTS