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Court extends orders on housing levy

Affordable housing
Affordable housing is one of the four pillars of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s agenda for the next four years. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The High Court has extended orders barring the government from implementing the 1.5 percent housing levy until May 27.

The order was issued on Monday by Justice Maureen Onyango in Nairobi to allow for the consolidation of the various cases filed against the plan.

The Jubilee government plans to take 1.5 percent of workers’ gross salary in the formal sector to set up a housing fund.

But various parties — including the Central Organisation of Trade Union (Cotu), Trade Union Congress of Kenya, Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) and the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) — have filed suits challenging the levy.

Remit by 9th

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The Labour Court on April 17 issued orders temporarily stopping the government from implementing the levy to allow the consolidation of the current case by Cofek.

The government had in April issued a public notice directing employers to deduct and remit the levy by the 9th of every month.

“The Housing Fund shall be used to finance the Affordable Housing Scheme under the Big 4 Agenda,” the notice read.

The Jubilee administration is keen on the project as housing is one of the four pillars of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.

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