Again, the Mobile Money and the Exercise Duty Tax Amendment of 2018 are proven to be without due diligence. There so many aspects that is left behind. This time it comes from the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) Matia Kasaija. Whose now is trying hard to wash his hands from the added taxes on the public. Like it would make a giant difference between a half percentage or 1 percentage of the transaction in taxes to the state. Yes, there is a difference and the cost are still hitting the public and making Mobile Money more expensive before even spending it.
This is the proof the National Resistance Movement (NRM), how they have rushed these taxes to please the President. Because there hasn’t been enough consultation or proof of the possible outcome of it. Other than some numbers hitting the wall and hopeful earnings for the state. The state needs revenue, but will they bill themselves into more trouble, as they are hitting the poorest the most. Which doesn’t use banking services. They use Mobile Money for their transfers and use the Cellphones for their transactions. That is why is worrying for the public.
The Excuse from the Minister:
““The NRM caucus and Cabinet sat and agreed on 0.5% instead of 1%. I don’t know what happened,” he said. Last week, Parliament passed a 1% tax on mobile money as part of the Excise Duty amendment Bill. The opponents of this tax say that the 1% tax on mobile money will hurt the economy, its people and it is counterproductive. “I am sorry. I was out of the country when it was passed. I will have a discussion with the President and maybe by the time I read the budget next week, a solution will have been found,” Kasaija said” (Wamala, 2018).
It help to be on vacation. I wonder if the President did the same during the Age Limit debacle, as he traveled around the globe. While the skirmishes was happening in the Parliament. Now the Minister says the same. That he now will try to fix it. No matter if he reverse it, it will still add more cost to the consumers and the ones who needs the Mobile Money. A service that is needed, as the banking system isn’t for everyone and neither is the day-to-day lives of many able to even be parts of it. That is because the state has left these groups of unemployed and poor behind.
What still worries me, is that there are no scope of the possible effect and what it will do to the economy. If there will substantial growth or down-turn. If certain groups that is hit, will be worse of and struggle more. Then the question is, will the added revenue be used in other parts of the economy to boost their need for services or just to pay off old debt?
Because, these taxes will be felt by the amounts of people who struggle, who has little or nearly none. There are plenty of them. These will pay-off huge sums for them, because this is subtracted directly from their salaries and sales as hawkers and traders, farmers and whatnot. Just sending money to relatives in up-country will be more costly. This is clearly just sending the memo, that the digital age is in for the taking and the advantages are becoming more expensive.
This wasn’t error, this was deliberate, even if you we’re away Mr. Kasaija. You can try to save face, but its better to reverse before speaking out. This is you trying to look good for the spotlight before addressing the Parliament. That is all. Peace.
Wamala, Maria – ‘Mobile money tax was passed in error – Kasaija’ (05.06.2018) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1479138/mobile-money-tax-passed-error-kasaija