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Raila calls on all employers to stop remitting housing levy

Azimio leader Raila Odinga asks employers to stop paying the 1.5 per cent housing levy after the court declared it unconstitutional.

Speaking on Wednesday while answering questions from journalists after announcing Azimio’s stand on the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) report, Raila said the court’s decision to stay the orders until January 10 does not negate the fact that the levy is unconstitutional.

“The court made a very fundamental pronouncement that this matter is unconstitutional. A stay does not make it constitutional,” he said.

“My view is that the matter still remains unconstitutional and therefore I would urge all the employers to immediately stop paying anything because they will be acting unconstitutionally,” Raila added.

“Senior government officials today including Lands CS Alice Wahome have now come out to tell employers as well as workplaces that if they do not remit this 1.5 per cent then they will be fined and that there will be consequences. What do you make of these statements from those government officials?” Raila was asked.

The Azimio leader stressed that the court ruling that the Housing Levy was unconstitutional was final and as such employers should ignore the government and stop remitting the levy.

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Under the Housing Levy, employees are deducted 1.5 per cent of their salaries which is matched by employers’ 1.5 per cent.

Raila was responding to a statement by Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome that employers should continue remitting the housing Levy without fail until the day the stay orders take effect.

She warned that failure for employers to remit employee share of the levy plus the employer’s contribution will attract fines.

“It is important to note that the employer’s contribution to the Affordable Housing is an allowable deduction under Section 15 of the Income Tax Act. An employer who fails to comply with the law is liable to pay a penalty of two per cent of the unpaid amount of each month that it remains unpaid,” CS Wahome warned.

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