The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has now moved to court to challenge the constitutionality of the mandatory affordable housing levy as contained in the Finance Act, 2023.
In a certificate of urgency, the society claims that the mandatory affordable housing levy threatens the social economic interest of Kenyans.
The National Assembly, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General, as well as the Attorney General (AG) have been named as Respondents in the case.
“The petitioner has come to this Honorable Court under extreme urgency following the decision of the Respondents to gazette and enforce the unconstitutional, unlawful and unreasonable Finance Act 2023 that introduce mandatory affordable housing levy, implementation which threatens the social economic interests of Kenyans against the principle of social justice,” reads court papers
According the LSK, there exists no rationale whatsoever as to why the government would force its citizens to contribute to a mandatory scheme in a country where a majority of its citizens are already grappling with harsh economic times due to the existence of multiple layers of taxes.
Similarly, the lawyers’ body argues that the heavy burden to be shouldered by both the employers and employees.
It also adds that the enactment of the impugned law will further lower the rate of employment in a country that is already grappling with low rates of employment, which it says is against the principle of social justice as stipulated in the Constitution.
LSK now wants the court to issue orders prohibiting the government from implementing the housing levy, further enforcing Section 10 (2) (3) of the Income Tax Act as amended by Section 7 of the Finance Act 2023.