Uganda: The lowest paid civil servants would be hit by the Social Media Tax, up to about 20% of their total yearly salary!

You know that is wrong, when the state is issuing taxes that is insane. This is really banishing the poorest from certain aspects of life. By the time of November 2017, the lowest paid salaries for certain government employees are yearly about 250,000 shillings likes the U8 Local Government Workers. Others are the likes of U7 Primary School Teachers about 380,000 shillings. These are the lowest paid staff in and around in the Republic. Meaning this will be hit by the newly minted taxes that the state has imposed today in Parliament. This being the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2018. These are on all different aspect of life and on needed services, products that people need, that will all become more expensive.

The reports said this about it!

Parliament has passed the Excise Duty Amendment bill 20l8 by imposing one percent tax on every mobile money transaction and 200 shillings on social media. The tax measures approved by parliament are close to 1 trillion shillings and government argues that they will help in improving the tax base of the country” (Mbarara Sun, 2018).

The approval implies that each person using platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Viber and Skype among others, will be subjected to a daily levy of 200 Shillings while each mobile money transaction will be subjected to a 1 percent excise duty. The government is projecting to collect 284 billion Shillings from the measures” (Open Gate FM, 30.05.2018).

There are also some that has calculated it be costing the citizen up to 70,000 shillings on a given year, as the person has to pay the 200 shillings for the use. That will happen from the 1st January 2019. If that is so. Out of the lowest salary, if your paying the total on the Social Media Tax, you will go from 250k to 180k. That is 28% of the salary paying for being on social media alone. That is the poorest of the poor, the salaries which is usually not on time and they are even not getting by. They are the ones that is closed out of the new services and places for information like the Social Media. This is shutting out the poorest from the Social Media, this is only making sure the elite and wealthy can log-on, but the rest will not afford it.

Who wants to use 20% of their salary to go on Facebook, Twitter, Viber and WhatsApp? Who wants to do that? Will people use the VPN to not show their IP Addresses to still come into the Social Media Accounts without paying for the barrier that the Republic has put forward.

This is really making sure the society and space of voices sounding disconcern on social media and in general on the internet. This is closing the web for the poorest. Taking a bargain of about 20% of their check in big swoop. I just wonder how they will enforce this and how they will monitor all accounts, all the log-ins and the grand issue of technical framework to put in place within the spectrum of 6 months too.

It is not like the same state together with the Mobile Industry was able to roll-out the registered Sim-Cards and whatnot over the last two years. It has been hectic, a charade and a mess. It hasn’t been professional or sincere, there been backpedaling and all sort of fatigue within the system. You cannot say the Sim-Card saga was smooth. Then you look into all the government organizations and the orders, which went back- and forth.

Time will tell how the state will enforce this one, this is not just adding a tax, but also the software and the addition of systems on the Mobile Phones. If they all have to be updated and get agreements for payment walls on the Social Media Apps and such. Will that also be on the Computers and whatnot? What is the legal framework that puts this in? Other than the 200 shillings per day!

We should really get people to address the 70k shillings a year possibly, that is lot of money. For some about 20% of their salary. That is just too much for browsing on their phone and looking at what Maureen made for dinner and what Steve wrote about Mao. But that is just what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are doing.

200 shillings is really nothing, but when you take the whole piece of the puzzle collectively, just imagine all the other taxes put in this bills too. Are they taking 9 slices of the bread and leaving one behind to the taxpayer. Is that what the state is trying to do? Since they are already just on the Social Media Tax alone on the poorest civil servants and the local government workers who cannot afford to go there, because they have to decide to pay rent, food or school payments. Because when this is becoming this much of the salaries. You know just know this hurts the people in general.

This isn’t funny. This is serious. This is theft of the opportunities for the poorest in society. Peace.

Reference:

Mbarara Sun – ‘Parliament Endorses Tax On Social Media, Mobile Money’ 30.05.2018 link: http://mbararasun.com/index.php/2018/05/30/parliament-endorses-tax-on-social-media-mobile-money/

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