KAMPALA – The former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu has on Thursday June 5, blasted government for hiking taxes on everything saying the move will not solve the country’s challenges.
In a statement issued on his official Twitter account, the former army commander said that Uganda’s biggest challenge is corruption, inspite of the taxes collected.
“The [Government] seems to think that increasing taxes will solve our problems. When a country is ranked 24rth out of 174, amongst the most corrupt nations, asking the same corrupt system to collect more taxes simply translates into increased theft,” Gen Muntu said.
He advised government to first handle corruption challenges that marred it’s institution before demanding for taxes from the people.
On comments that Ugandans don’t want to pay taxes, Gen Muntu said that in the Financial Year 2016/17 Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), collected Shs12.7trillion in taxes. It was up by 1.4trillion in 2015/16.
“That’s in spite of govt corruption, misappropriation of funds and outright theft,” Muntu said adding Ugandans pay taxes in spite of not receiving commensurate services from government.
The government introduced taxes that have been widely criticized by the public saying it’s not certain.
Key among the controversial taxes include social media tax, Mobile Money tax, fuel charges and several others.
Following public outcry since URA, the tax collecting body implemented government decision on Sunday July 1, President Yoweri Museveni yesterday moved to clarify on the taxes.
Mr Museveni in a statement defended the taxes saying it’s the only option to reduce on government internal and external borrowings.
“Why do we have to borrow or beg from outside or even borrow from within? We do so because many people who are supposed to pay tax do not pay the tax,” the president said.
He however said the government resolved to adjust the tax charges on mobile money to make it affordable to even those in the informal sector (juakali?
“I have been told the newly-introduced social media and mobile money taxes have caused debate. To clarify, the tax on sending and receiving mobile money is 0.5% not 1%. For the rationale behind these taxes,” the president said in a statement.
The president further said that “I am, however, interested in a rational and honest dialogue, especially on the half -percent tax on mobile money sending and receiving.”