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Court Suspends Controversial Housing Tax, For Now

[IMAGE/ COURTESY]

[IMAGE/ COURTESY]
The Employment and Labour Relations Court has issued an order stopping imposition of 1.5 per cent levy on citizens with Ksh100,000 salary upwards to contribute to the Housing Development agenda.

The case was filed before Justice Hellen Wasilwa by the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) on grounds that there was no public participation.

The levy was supposed to take effect on January 1, 2019.

Making the ruling, the judge directed COTU to serve its suit papers on Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and his Transport and Infrastructure counterpart James Macharia, ahead of the hearing set for January 21.

In his argument, COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli says that the state could have consulted stakeholders before implementing the move.

“There was no public participation and involvement in its legislation by stake holders in the labor movement. The petitioner is opposed to the proposed amendments as they don’t promote good governance, accountability and transparency,” says Atwoli in court papers.

Read: Warehousing Shortage Hurting Economic Growth In Kenya, Report Shows

The veteran trade unionist says that introduction of the tax will result to increase in price levels across sectors in the country.

“This will occasion increased inflation which will reduce the purchasing power of Kenyan’s masses and in turn make the lives of Kenya’s poor millions unbearable. Stop public theft of money and recover the stolen monies and properties to plug gaps in the national Budget,” says Atwoli.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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