Court Halts Disputed Housing Levy Imposed By Kenyan Govt

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Kenya’s Court of Appeal has declined to suspend an order that had blocked the government from implementing a controversial housing levy.

The government had requested the court to allow it to continue deducting the monthly levy from salaried Kenyans, pending the hearing of appeals challenging the levy’s introduction.

President William Ruto, last year June signed the Finance Act, legislation that has proved unpopular with many after introducing a 1.5% housing levy payable each month by both employers and employees.

But in November, the High Court ruled that the levy was unconstitutional as it had been introduced without a proper legal framework and was only imposed on salaried Kenyans.

It, therefore, barred the government from implementing the levy.

The government said the levy will facilitate the development of affordable housing programmes for low-income earners.

Many Kenyans are relieved by the judgement, although the Court of Appeal is yet to make its final decision.

The ruling comes a week after the appeals court gave the go-ahead for a controversial healthcare insurance levy, which will require people to contribute 2.75% of their monthly salaries to a social healthcare programme.