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Blow to government as court suspends housing levy on workers : The Standard



A Nairobi high court has suspended the implementation of 1.5 per cent levy which was to be deducted from workers’ salaries to fund National Housing project.

The Government introduced Housing project as one of the pillars of the Big Four Agenda through which President Uhuru Kenyatta seeks to transform Kenya before the expiry of his second term.
Its bill sailed through parliament, but the implementation has faced fierce opposition from the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) and the Kenya National Union of Teachers who have cited lack of public participation in the process.
COTU filed petition to stop the Government from imposing the levy on workers on grounds that proper consultation were not made.

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Justice Hellen Wasilwa has directed that the case be heard on January 21, 2019.
The National Treasury, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and the AG have been lined up as respondents in the case with Federation of Kenya Employers being represented as interested party.
The petitioner, COTU, argues that the move by the government is total defiance of the interest of the people of Kenya. And, that by levying the 1.5% tax on salaries of workers, there will be resultant suffering and public discontent.
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli maintains that the law demands that labour movement and the public be consulted before such taxes are levied.
On Saturday, Deputy President William Ruto said that the government was planning to engage the teachers on the taxation plan, so that they can strike an agreement.

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The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Secretary General Akello Misori has told the Government to consider alternative housing approach.
Speaking at the Annual Delegates Conference, Misori urged the government consider mortgages to spearhead housing project, rather than the proposed taxation plan.

National HousingBig Four AgendaPresident Uhuru KenyattaCOTU

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