Government plans backdating housing levy. Around six Organizations of the civil society have tabled an appeal at the Milimani law court Nairobi opposing the government decision to backdate housing levy. In the Finance Bill 2023 proposals, all employees are supposed to pay a 3% automatic housing levy to the government.
The civil society organisations led by Okiya Omtatah had previously appealed in the same court against such deductions. Omtatah had based his argument on the hard economic times and hence Kenyans needed not be taxed further. The levy seemed as punishment on already surviving civil servants.
Consequently, the court held the case and stopped any July deductions associated with housing levy from the payslip.
However, the Kenya kwanza government led by his Excellency president William Ruto gave different directives last week. The government wants deductions for housing levy be initiated, beginning July 1, hence implying slashing august payslip twice.
Government plans backdating housing levy
The appellate court temporarily lifted any conservatory orders that prevented contentious Act’s implementation. The government therefore took the opportunity to quickly implement its critical taxes initially held during act suspension the previous month.
According to the petitioners, the ruling instills direct risk to lives and Kenyan livelihoods, and should hence be stopped. The legal team against the ruling drafted a document of appeal to the high court demanding an august recess hearing.
At the same time, the lobby groups claimed that the act violates article 10 and 201 of the constitution. To them, imposing retrogressive tax measures which burdens excessively employees at low income is unconstitutional. The heavy burden threatens low income earners’ right to life and livelihood outlined in articles 26 and 43 of the Kenyan constitution.
Category of Petitioners against August levy payslip double slash
- Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
- Katiba Institute
- The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA)
- Transparency International Kenya
- The international commission for Jurists-Kenya
- Siasa Place and Tribeless Youth
Among the respondents in the case include;
- The National assembly
- Attorney General
The law society of Kenya was also listed as an interested party.
The Kenya revenue authority KRA was assigned the task to collect the contribution from employers. The employers were ordered to submit their contribution of 1.5 percent alongside that of their employees. The authority threatened the employers with a penalty of 2 percent of unpaid dues if they fail to remit the funds.
This deductions on the employers will be imposed until they agree to comply with the law.
Government plans backdating housing levy.