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Government has halved Housing Fund levy, says UDA

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) says the government has reduced the Housing Fund levy from 3% by half.

The ruling party made the announcement on its Twitter page.

If factual, the decision to reduce the levy imposed on Kenyans comes amid pressure from the public.

President William Ruto has been pleading with employed Kenyans to contribute 3% of their salaries to the Housing Fund. That contribution, the Head of State said, will be matched by a similar deposit by the employer, with the proceeds being channeled towards construction of affordable housing for Kenyans living in low income residential areas.

The proposal has however received criticism from Kenyans including opposition leaders led by Raila Odinga, who have vowed to protest if the Bill is passed in Parliament.

Kenyans who contributed to the bill allayed varied reactions.

Some said they did not wish to contribute to the project because they had alternative plans of building houses.

While others said they doubted the government’s ability to complete the project after receiving the funds.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly committee responsible for reviewing the Finance Bill concluded its report on June 11, 2023 after a week-long deliberation.

Led by Molo MP Kimani Kuria, the committee recommended a reduction of the housing levy from 3% to 1.5%.

Furthermore, they proposed the monthly deductions be applicable to employees only, ensuring a fair distribution of the burden.

Additionally, the committee suggested the implementation of the levy be deferred until January 2024.

This delay aims to allow sufficient time for the establishment of a robust legal framework that will govern the implementation of the housing levy.

The levy itself took center stage during the public participation hearing on the Finance Bill 2023.

The is set to present the revised edition of the Bill for discussion in the House on June 13, 2023, marking the beginning of a highly spirited debate.

The expected lively deliberations will provide an opportunity for lawmakers to thoroughly examine and analyze the proposed changes to the housing levy.

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