- Omtatah said that the contribution to the fund should be voluntary
- Azimio leader Raila Odinga has also warned that he will mobilize Kenyans in protest of the proposals
Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has threatened to move to court over the proposed mandatory Housing Fund contribution in the Finance Bill.
Speaking during an interreligious prayer gathering attended by President William Ruto at Busia Stadium, the activist-turned-politician said contribution to the fund should be voluntary.
“The issue on housing, the former president had tried imposing the housing tax and I was among the people who went to court to fight it. The Finance Bill has so far violated the constitution in six ways if not corrected you will leave me no choice but to move to court,” he told the President.
The Housing Fund has stirred debate with Azimio leaders stating the Finance Bill unfairly targets a middle class that is already enduring great hardships and has the least amount of money available to pay additional taxes.
Azimio leader Raila Odinga has also warned that he will mobilize Kenyans in protest of the proposals.
Odinga has vowed to initiate street protests if the Finance Bill 2023 is pushed through Parliament, Azimio will organize individuals across the nation to defend themselves.
“We will have no option but to mobilise all the social sectors and take all necessary political actions to stop this blow and burden,” he said.
President Ruto has however defended the proposed 3 per cent contribution saying it is the collective business of Kenyans to support decent housing and job creation.
Speaking on May 21 during an interdenominational prayer service in Isiolo, the Head of State indicated that Kenya belongs to everyone and each citizen should be involved on issues that concern the country.
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“Many people have questioned me why I am bothering them with all of this; some are asking me whether they asked me for a house and why I want to deduct their money. This country belongs to all of us,” he stated.
The Finance Bill 2023, if passed as is, will see total deductions of upto 22 percent of an employee’s monthly earnings, with an additional 48 per cent which trade unions opposed to the Fund have note will be subjected to 16 per cent VAT of all goods and services bought, whose prices are ever increasing.