Activist and Senator Okiya Omtatah has moved to court to challenge the proposed Finance Bill 2023.
In the petition, they argue that the bill is a threat to human dignity and socio-economic rights that will result from the high cost of essential products that will ensue if it becomes law.
“Pending hearing and determination the court be pleased to issue orders suspending debate on sections 28,30 33,36 and 76of the Finance Bill 2023,” reads court papers
They have asked the court to issue a temporary order prohibiting the speaker of the National Assembly from transmitting to the president the approved Finance Bill 2023 if it contains the impugned sections.
“Section 76 threatens socio-economic rights to the extent that if made law, the fund will require a 3 per cent reduction in basic salary for employees and 3 per cent contribution from employers thereby reducing workers purchasing power as it increases business operating costs,” they argued.
It is their argument that the proposed approach is coercive and limits the options which individuals have in choosing their housing plans or how to use their property.
According to court papers, Section 76 of the bill threatens the freedom to own property by proposing to compel civil servants to participate in a mandatory tax scheme disguised as a means to facilitate property acquisition.