by Mathew Ndeti
Majority of Kenyans do not support the current Housing Levy introduced in the Finance Bill 2023, a poll conducted by Trends and Insights of Africa (TIFA) has revealed.Speaking in Nairobi during the release of the findings, TIFA Research Analyst Tom Wolf said a substantial number of Kenyans including the Opposition supporters were opposed signifying a correlation between political alignment and public opinion.“In identifying what they consider to be the best provisions of the new Budget, there is widespread agreement among Kenyans across the political divide, the only notable difference being that rather more Opposition supporters are unable (or unwilling) to mention any provision they consider to be “best” (82 percent vs. 71 percent), which also highlights that even among Government supporters, more than two-thirds likewise find nothing positive in it.Furthermore, the poll found that, only 24 percent of the respondents supported the housing levy and 7 percent of the respondents had no opinion.According to the report only a modest minority of Kenyans identified any “best” provisions of the new Budget when invited to do so with 21 percent voicing their support for the education sector and the new housing program being most frequently mentioned (4% each). Additionally, other best provisions mentioned were as follow; 4 percent educational support, 3 percent subsidised farm inputs / other agricultural support and 2 percent elimination of tax on petroleum gas (LPG).By contrast, a clear majority (56 percent) mentioned a provision they consider as “worst” with the tax on all petroleum products being by far the leading category with 24 percent. Others included 10 percent increase on tax on basic food items and 10 percent Housing levy among others.The poll also revealed that 54 percent of Kenyans believe that those who contribute to the Housing Levy will not have the opportunity to own a house. In contrast, only 11 percent of the respondents expressed confidence that levy payers would eventually become homeowners. The economic survey was conducted between June 23 and June 30, 2023.