LSK moves to challenge Finance Act 2023 in court
The Law Society of Kenya has filed a petition challenging the enactment of the Finance Act 2023 terming it unlawful and unreasonable.
The legal society is opposing the introduction of the affordable housing levy stating that the law made no sense and “threatens the social economic interests of Kenyans against the principle of social justice”.
“There exists no rationale whatsoever as to why the government through the 1st Respondent 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,” read the petition.
The legal body further argues that implementation of the housing levy will prove ignorant to home owners.
“…the imposition of a mandatory housing levy is baseless and lacks grounding on the projected aim of affordable housing as it is ignorant of the fact that some Kenyans in the formal employment sector already own homes be it in the urban or rural areas therefore the effect of the housing levy would be to arbitrarily alienate their property rights,” it read.
They also questioned the eligibility criteria of the housing levy.
LSK proceeded to accuse the government of abusing power to impose more taxes.
“Taxation by a state is necessary for the life of a nation because it sustains the public welfare and public good. Nevertheless, the power to tax is very delicate, vulnerable to abuse by those in authority; therefore, the Constitution imputes safeguards to protect against such abuse.”
They further decried little to no participation of the public in the law making process of the Finance Act.
“The process of enactment of the impugned legislation was fraught with blatant procedural and substantive illegalities. The Respondents intentionally made a mockery of the process of public participation which led to the enactment of an unfair, unsustainable and illicit legislation.”
On collection of the housing levy contributions, Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development appointed the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as the collection agency on August 3.