Before we pay the 1.5% Housing Fund Levy, we should ask ourselves the following questions

By Soko Directory Team / April 17, 2019



KRA

On Tuesday, the Jubilee government announced that at the end of April, all employees will be forced to “contribute” 1.5 percent of their monthly salary to the proposed National Housing Fund.

According to the government, every employee is to be deducted 1.5 percent at the end of every month with the employer presenting a similar percent for every employee for the construction of “affordable housing.”

The government, under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda, has a dream of constructing 500,000 “affordable housing units” for Kenyans, and Kenyans have to pay for it “wapende wasipende.”

As the taxman waits patiently to pounce on the peanuts that Kenyans toil daily from dawn to dusk to earn, the government seems to be not clear on this “future major scandal.”

Has the government worked on stopping corruption?

There is no doubt that Kenya is a looting nation. The current government has people who are hungry and vicious in the manner in which they have been looting public resources.

Massive looting has been going on in almost every government sector with President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Commander in Chief of the Republic of Kenya, unable to fire anyone. It is like the corrupt are holding him at gunpoint and dictating what he should say and do.

Currently, corruption scandals have amounted to a total of 6,652,459,800,000 shillings since 2013 under President Uhuru’s governance, according to Corruption Tracker. That is a whole 6.7 trillion shillings gone into the pockets of few individuals.

When you think of Uhuru’s administration, the only clear thing that comes right into your mind is Corruption, Debts, and Scandals.

What will stop them from looting the Housing Fund Levy? In fact, they want to start deducting the money without even a plan of where the houses will be constructed and where the money will be banked.

This is a future mega-scandal that will go down in history books just like any other scandals that have now become part of life in this country.

Stats show that Kenya loses 1 trillion shillings annually to corruption with the government doing very little to stop the same from thriving.

The Jubilee government should first STOP corruption. They should STOP stealing from Kenyans and use the taxes Kenyans are already paying for developments.

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Is it a priority?

The long rains have failed. It is evident that Kenya is facing a nationwide drought that will affect millions of Kenyans. Already, 17 million Kenyans, in 12 counties alone are in dire need of food and water.

Turkana and Baringo Counties are the most affected with some people have died as a result of hunger and thirst. All the 47 counties are going to be affected by the ongoing drought.

Farmers in the larger Rift Valley region, the food basket of Kenya, have not planted. Those who planted in anticipation of rain are thinking of replanting after the seeds failed to germinate. Still, there is no rain.

There is going to be a massive shortage of food. Kenyans are going to face the hunger of a lifetime. Should the government be thinking of taxing the already malnourished Kenyans to “give them houses” or think of giving them food?

The government should be thinking of constructing dams and taking stock of the amount of maize in the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) across the country.

What of the other taxes and the increased cost of living?

Due to the prolonged drought, the cost of living is just way beyond the reach for millions of Kenyans. The cost of food prices has skyrocketed and Kenyans are losing hope.

Just recently, the government increased the price of fuel, a move that will lead to manufacturers increasing their prices due to the increased cost of production. Transport costs have also increased.

The price of maize, a staple food for millions of Kenyans has increased in most parts of the country. A 90-kilogram bag of maize in Bungoma County moved to an average of 3,200 shillings, up from 2,600 shillings two months earlier.

In Kakamega County, the price of a 90-kilogram bag of maize just jumped from 2,200 shillings two months ago to 3,600 shillings.

Kenyans are already overburdened with taxes. They are paying the Pay As You Earn (PAYE), the Value Added Tax (VAT) of 16 percent, the Value Added Tax (VAT) of 8 percent on petroleum products, the presumptive tax of 15 percent among others.

All these taxes are being misused and uncounted for. Instead of making sure that the taxes being paid are used in a proper manner, the good government wants to choke Kenyans with more taxes.

Who is going to pay the 1.5 Percent Housing Fund Levy?

The government is not clear on who is going to pay the 1.5 percent levy? Are they making it compulsory for every employee? What of employees who are not on a permanent basis? What about those who do not want the houses? What will be the value for their money for those who will be “contributing”?



About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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