Unions of civil servants now strongly push review of PAYE deductions RAED MORE…
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Unions of civil servants now strongly push review of PAYE deductions RAED MORE…

The government employees protest that the 30 per cent tax increase in Pay as You Earn (PAYE) has overstrained the workers.

UKCS Secretary General Tom Odege, while addressing the press in Kisumu, earnestly appealed to the government to review the PAYE deductions in the new year 2024.

“We particularly want the Housing Levy removed because we deem it unnecessary. It’s hurting workers,” Odege stated.

The Finance Act 2023 sets the PAYE rate at 32.5 per cent for persons earning between Ksh500,000 and Ksh800,000 a month.

On the other hand, state employees earning above Ksh800,000 are subject to a 35 per deduction in PAYE.

This combined with a new housing tax of 1.5 per cent levied on state workers and a medical insurance tax of 2.5 per cent significantly reduces their net income.

“This is why, we are asking the government passionately, with all sense of humility to review the taxes downward,” Odege said.

But he ruled out calls for an industrial strike any time soon, instead saying they will use more diplomatic ways to protest high taxes.

“We want the state to stop this inkling of listening to unrests as the trigger for action on most pressing administrative issues,’’ he added.

Odege claimed that the unprecedented tough economic times in the government had seen many workers resort to survival tactics.

The civil servants union, however, warned that if diplomatic negotiations fail, the ‘very last resort’ could be industrial action.

Odege told the press in Kisumu, that it was saddening that the state was quick to increase taxes but slow to increase their salaries.

The state targets collections from income tax, mainly PAYE and corporate income tax paid by traders to increase by Ksh194.2 billion to Ksh1.2 trillion in the next two financial years.

“The reason we experience workers running away from government to the private sector is because of poor pay,’’ he said

Odege, who is also a member of parliament for Nyatike constituency, noted that they have nowhere to hide since their salary is paid and deducted by the state at will.

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