Opinion: MPs now become tax-exempt is just another way of being unaccountable!
It is just one of them days where the madness continues at amp speed, where the government officials continue to eat off and sponge of the plate of the citizens. Where the concern for their own behalf counter their constituency and even their own conscience. With that in mind here is ill-spirited news from the National Assembly, the 10th Parliament of Uganda:
“This is after President Yoweri Museveni assented to the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2016. The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga told a plenary sitting on December 21, 2016 that the President signed the law on November 19th, which in essence means that their allowances on mileage and constituency allowances, sitting allowances for committee sessions, town running allowances, basic pay and car purchase allowances, will be exempted from taxes” (Parliamentary Watch, 22.12.2016).
Already as it happens, it is no surprise, none should be thinking that this could appear before the moon and sun, even the doubting stars would not dance of joy. They are just all where they, where are before and will be so after. Still, the constituency of these Members of Parliament, the people of Uganda should not accept this robbery, this negligent concern for their hard-earned taxed monies that been accumulated with vigour from the Uganda Revenue Authority.
This vicious attempt of eating of the spoils, the grandeur of greed while the people both in parties, in businesses and even civil servants doesn’t get paid on time. Banks are collapsing and businesses bailed out, still in this economic climate the wealth and richness are now beholden the men and woman who represent the ones paying the tax. It is amazing that a person earning little or nearly nothing pays VAT on products or on Airtime that become levied to pay for the tax-exemption of the MPs. Together with the ordinary paid tax on working hours and such. Still, the people representing the tax-base and the ones taxed are tax-exempt. Is not extraordinary, that the ones that leaders and representative does not have to pay tax and does not need to behold accountable for the work they do as representatives while they are serving the public.
We can question their moral integrity, the moral fabric of this design and act as they scrupulous extend their wealth on the cost of the population. The reach of malice and bravado that can only been seen as vicious attempt to allow thieving and become unaccountable. They are not ordinary citizens and not even careful law-abiding when it does not matter if they pay tax on their earned salaries.
The outcome of this matter is clear, they do not need to be accountable or even caring about transparency about their wages, their allowance and extra funds are exempt, and they can go by the merry, be jolly with the colleagues, and be sure that people won’t find out their real allowance or credible income. Since they are not really in need of filling that into the tax office or correct their income statement, since for reason number one: they are not levied any tax against in the near future. The law permits them to keep this in dark, the new forms of shady agreement and paid suits will be high flying and this while the proclaimed the URA has tried to put the memo: “have collected more money than ever before”. Still they have not counted in the estimated income or the current inflation to why the amounts of shillings collected has increased!
With that in mind if the collection and disrespect for paying tax will rise in the near, it is understandable as the disgraced MPs are sponging with no concern for their constituents, not on paper and not with concern for their pockets. They are only caring about their own pockets, not the pockets are clearing their checks and balances by the end of the month. The allowances and salaries are now secured as much as their growing wealth as well.
This is disrespecting the law-abiding citizens who themselves pay their levied taxes and are responsible, everyone who contribute their hard earned currency to the plate for common good, that common good is not to be sponged on the individuals who represent the ones who pay. They are supposed to share it to generate a working government with institutions who servers the public and the people. As well securing salaries to teachers, doctors and civil servants, which is the MPs as well, but not for them to become wealthy.
These MPs, this President Museveni has forgotten the basics, he has forgotten policies and what makes a grand state, he has forgotten and it has dwindled in his power-grabbing ways. The thieving starts from him and ends with him, his sign and signature on a damaging bill that creates a vacuum between the citizens and the representatives in Parliament.
President Museveni has forgotten due-diligence and even self-respect as all he wants to do is eat and let his loyal elite eat; so they will vote for his bills instead of concerning them with the people, the citizens who they represent. They can pay for their cars, their houses and salaries, but the MPs do not need to be accountable or even pay tax for it. Because the honourable, the elite, these Members of Parliament think they deserve to be grander and wealthier than the ones they represent. In addition, how wrong they are, because they are supposed to understand and make the citizens life better and their needs for better future. Now they are only concern with their own. That is not a good look, it is a bad one and it is self-inflicted. Peace.