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Esther Passaris: Why I voted for the Finance Bill 2023

Esther Passaris says she voted in favour of the Finance Bill 2023 as she believed it would ultimately benefit Kenyans.

The Nairobi Woman Representative has been on the spotlight after electing to go against the wishes of his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party to vote in favour of the bill.

Speaking on June 21, 2023, Passaris, who is one of the opposition aligned legislators that have warmed up to government said she was convinced President William Ruto had a plan to build affordable houses for Kenyans.

The Finance Bill has an act that requires 1.5% salary of every working class Kenyan be channeled towards constructing of affordable houses.

“I have a dream of a Kenya where the image of slums remains in our history books and not in our motherland,” said Passaris.

“For the millions of Kenyans living in the over 1,400 slums, I voted YES on the housing levy,” Passaris added.

The lawmaker who defended her seat on an ODM ticket in the 2022 polls has been criticised by her colleagues who accuse her of betraying the party.

She also stayed away during the anti-government protests called by Azimio leader Raila Odinga, reportedly on health grounds.

During the debate before the National Assembly sessions, Azimio MPs accused the Kenya Kwanza majority side of increasing taxes amidst a rising cost of living that has affected many people.

According to the Woman Rep, though the bill appears unfriendly to the public, it will only be for a short period before things start running smoothly.

The MPs also voted to increase 16 percent VAT on petroleum products.

Mr Odinga recently claimed the bill would strain Kenyans, a majority of whim are struggling to make ends meet.

Mr Odinga urged President William Ruto to postpone the housing plan until such a time when the economy will stabilize.

Also read: Azimio hint at fresh protests ahead of Kamukunji rally