Kenya’s President Signs Controversial Housing Bill Into Law

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Kenya’s President William Ruto has signed into law a controversial bill, paving the way for the government to continue collecting a housing levy of 1.5% of a worker’s monthly pay.

The levy is intended to pay for the construction of affordable housing for poorer Kenyans.

But it sparked an outcry from the opposition and a large section of the population who feel burdened by a raft of new taxes.

The law had been held up in the courts.

A judge had stopped the deductions citing a lack of a legal framework.

However, MPs amended and approved the bill last week despite objections from opposition legislators.

The levy, which had been mentioned in Mr Ruto’s manifesto for the 2022 election, was part of a finance law adopted last June that also doubled the sales tax on fuel. A new higher health insurance levy is also due to come into effect soon.

The government has argued that it needs to increase its revenue from taxation to reduce the budget deficit and pay for public services.