The nine page memo on the Exercise Duty Bill Amendment of 2018 is an insult to everyone who cares about governance. The leaked Report from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED). Is really just a carbon copy of the initial taxes and rubber stamping the bill without any considerable efforts, arguments or questions to the new taxes.
It is weird that the MoFPED can get away with lax work and lack of work ethic, lack of reasonable numbers and crunches of statistics. Proof that this is actually good for society, that the new taxes on Mobil Communications, Mobile Money and Cooking Oil is of an calibre good. Alas, that is not the case, the report isn’t spelling out that. It is just saying, That it is just unfair that ones actually calling is paying taxes, but the ones using mobile data is not. However, isn’t the Telecommunication Companies already paying huge level of taxes on their profits of every sale of airtime? So now just topping it off by adding taxes on Social Media Apps and on Mobile Money? Also the VAT on the Airtime as well?
You have the tax on the airtime, tax on the profits on the airtime; you will have tax on the usage of social media and mobile money. Meaning the state gets revenue from nearly all aspects of usage of the phones. Soon you cannot open anything without withdrawing money from your account as the state is billing you extra for the top services. They are calling this “over the top service” sort of like all the benefits the Members of Parliament has and is billing on the Republic.
Therefore, reading this report, that no one questioned it or had any concern, that no one said anything or looked into the amount of usage and the cost on the cell-phone user. Neither, the added cost on the basic household for any of the new taxes. Show a unpleasant disregard for the hardships of the citizens in question. You cannot expect to be enlighten on 9 pages of a report, you cannot, because your not digging deep into a problem or a situation on a 4 page brief. Your just touching the subject matter and disregarding the issues at hand. The Parliament has recklessly added this taxes, as the President ordered in his letter. The letter from 12th March 2018 dubbed “Re: Lack of Seriousness in Tax Collection”. As they are just following his words and not considering any implications. That is what is bugging me.
If these was serious MPs who cared about the constituents and the citizens in general, before imposing taxes, they would see what estimates and who would be hit. Secondly, what it would do with quality of life and consequences for the poorest of the Republic. That is if they cared about that. Apparently, they don’t, because they are just whistling after the President and his every whims.
The people should be insulted by their MPs and their lack of understanding, their lack of concern. They should be ashamed to have this sort of people representing them. That they cannot have any of these following government bodies to do, due diligence on the amendment:
Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED), and Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT).
All of these should have delivered some sort of report and proper framework, the actual costs and the implications of these taxes on Mobile Money and Social Media Tax. However, the didn’t do that, because they don’t care.
Neither did URA or MoFPED. They just didn’t care to put in the work and show the reality of these proposals. They are just blindly following the blind, aka the President. That is what they do and people have to suffer because of it. Paying much more for service, being invoiced as long as they have the possibility to use the services. That is what the Exercise Duty does, that is what the state do to its citizens. Peace.