Parliament Votes to Maintain Mobile Money tax at 0.5%

Posted: 2018-10-02T15:29:56Z
Parliament Votes to Maintain Mobile Money tax at 0.5%

Members of the 10th Parliament have voted once again to maintain the tax on mobile money and social media, despite public outcry.

The vote which was in favor of maintaining the taxes ended 136 (YES) and 101(NO). This comes after members of the public, mobile money agents, scholars, economists, telecom operators and some section of MPs begged that the unfair taxes be removed as they were adding more burned to poor Ugandans.

But on Monday, president Yoweri Museveni also NRM Chairman summoned his MPs to state house Entebbe, and while details of the caucus meeting are scanty, it is alleged that he could have asked his members to vote in favor of the taxes.

The taxes were introduced at the beginning of the 2017/18 financial year to widen the tax base gap. Initially, a 1% tax was levied on all mobile money transaction, but after too much noise, President Museveni reduced it to 0.5% which would only apply to withdrawals. 

This amendment was sent to the committee for 45 days, and today, parliament voted to maintain it. Hon. Wilfred Niwagaba had suggested that the entire paragraph on mobile money is deleted. 

Voting was by roll call as several legislators had wanted to abscond. This is seen by many as one of the decisions will base on to elect MPs in 2021. At least 115 billion shillings is expected to be collected from the tax.