Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako now says that no nurse in the country will be party to Jubilee government’s housing levy introduced under Finance Bill, 2018.
If implemented, it will see a 1.5 per cent mandatory levy on worker’s gross salary.
Panyako says that the government, which has failed to improve health services despite increasing National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) contributions is legislating outright graft.
Speaking in Thika, the unionist said Knun, alongside other parties will be moving in court on Tuesday to reject the scheme which he said has been perfectly orchestrated to benefit a few government officials.
He decried that through the scheme, it will take some Kenyan workers over three hundred years to raise enough money to purchase the government houses.
“As Knun, we have vehemently opposed the initiative and I openly tell you that we will not be party to it. Already, our lawyers will be moving to court on Tuesday to reject the same,” he said.
The unionist reiterated that most government officers are on car loan and mortgage adding that the stipulated laws projected to govern the levy are illegal.
“……Still, the levy does not guarantee you a house, how can a government with upright leaders instigate lottery arrangements on taxation. This is an outright graft legislation and as union, we will not allow the government to fruition their fishy motives,” he added.
He said that Kenyans are ready for a revolution if that is what will compel the government to stop the whole ordeal.
He recommended improvement of the existing Salaries and Renumeration Commission (SRC) car loan and mortgage initiative by making it accessible and more affordable. Else, he suggested that the government builds houses using loans from ‘wherever’ to sell to Kenyans at affordable rates.
“Implementation of the SRC benefits will motivate public officers and immensely contribute towards attraction and retention of requisite skills in the public service in line with the constitutional principles under Article 230(5) of the constitution,” he added.
The unionist remarks contradicted with Secretary-General of the Central Organization of Trade Unions Francis Atwoli who recently hit out at Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) for opposing the 1.5 per cent housing levy, saying the plan is in good faith.
Atwoli who had rejected the scheme last year changed tunes by saying his body will support the tax as long as a 15 percent general wage increase by the government is granted.