Osotsi says housing levy unrealistic

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi has said that the proposed three per cent housing levy is unrealistic.

Mr Osotsi claimed that if the proposed housing levy comes into effect, it would turn out to be a big scam of swindling public funds like the failed pyramid scheme.

He challenged President William Ruto to be bold enough and tell the public the government does not have money to fund the projects they promised, and therefore they are increasing taxes to fulfil the same.

“We were told the Hustler Fund is there to support people, and they do not have money to give that's why taxes are being increased. They said they will lower the cost of living but it's increasing day-by-day, so why is the head of state misleading Kenyans?” Osotsi posed.

The senator announced that Azimio leaders have agreed to shoot down the Finance Bill, 2023 if brought to the Senate and urged MPs to vote in favour of Kenyan workers.

"We won't allow Kenyans to be frustrated with those taxes now and then. Already the cost of living is high," he said.

"There are some people who don't need to pay the housing levy to acquire new houses because they already constructed houses through Sacco savings, loans or via salary advance plans so why tax them again," he added.

He urged the public to monitor closely MPs saying those who will pass that Bill will face the wrath of their constituents.

Osotsi wondered how long it will take workers who earn below Sh20,000 and those who are about to retire to benefit from the housing kitty.

The senator warned that imposing the housing levy on workers would force many employers to exit Kenya.

"Our economy is doing badly now, telling an employer to come up with this 3 per cent won't work out at all," he said.

"If that law is implemented Kenyans workers will be the most taxed workers around the globe," he added.

The senator dismissed claims by the head of state that the three per cent housing levy is not a tax.

He insisted that any mandatory deduction from salary is tax.

The lawmaker was speaking in Luanda cub-county during empowerment programme to support men, women and youth groups across Vihiga county.

Osotsi further told Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli to fight for workers rights.

"Atwoli, you have been protecting these workers. Let's hear your voice. Do not just keep quiet because you are supporting the government of the day while workers are suffering," he said.

The senator asked President Ruto not to spare the big fish in the sugar scam.

“Mr President, we have heard there is a Cabinet Secretary and an MP affiliated to the Kenya Kwanza government get hold of them and save our people’s lives at the moment.