The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party Parliamentary Caucus has supported a cabinet decision to revise the 1 Percent tax on mobile money transactions.
This was during a meeting at State House Entebbe last evening. The MPs also supported a decision to retain Over The Top tax (OTT) on social media platforms that has left many Ugandans of intellect cursing.
On Monday, cabinet members sitting in Entebbe reached a decision to reduce the tax imposed on mobile money transactions to 0.5 per cent. This would only affect withdrawals, not sending or receipt of any monies. The same seating decided that Ugandans should continue paying 200 shillings per day in order to access social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp among otherws.
Cabinet then directed Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija and the Attorney General William Byaruhanga to prepare an Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to be tabled before Parliament during today’s plenary.
Cabinet decisions followed pressure from members of the public against the taxes while MPs were also divided on the matter, after feeling the pinch of the mobile money tax.
President Yoweri Museveni was then forced to call the majority NRM legislators to State House, Entebbe to harmonize their position last evening. According to Solomon Silwany, the Deputy Chairperson of the NRM Caucus, the party MPs agreed to back decisions made by cabinet on both tax measures in parliament. With its majority members in the house, there is no doubt, the Bill will pass.
"We maintained the 200 Shillings daily tax on Social Media exclusive of students and people doing research" he said. The infamous mobile money and social media taxes, came into effect on July 1, and have since caused a lot of criticism against the ruling government MPs and their leader, Yoweri Museveni.
Many Ugandans believe money collected from these taxes will be misused by government which intends to buy escort cars for MPs and provide military sharpshooters for each individual legislator. May believe, this is an unnecessary expenditure.