Wednesday April 27 2016

Luweero residents seek to block MPs’ tax exemption

Members of the village budget club  in Luweero

Members of the village budget club in Luweero sign on a petition that seeks to stop MPs from exempting themselves from paying taxes. PHOTO BY DAN WANDERA 

By CLEOPHAS TUKAMAR & DAN WANDERA

LYANTONDE/LUWEERO. At least 600 residents in Lyantonde and Luweero Districts have endorsed a petition that seeks to compel President Museveni not to sign the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that exempt MPs allowances from being taxed.
During a public debate organised by Forum for Women in Democracy at Kahugu Primary School, Kinuuka Sub-county in Lyantonde District on Monday, residents blamed the passing of the amendments on a weak Opposition against NRM’s majority.
In an interview with Daily Monitor, Mr Sulaiman Ruzigo, 80, said he had signed the petition to make it known to the President that MPs are not more important than the 34 million Ugandans.
“As poor citizens, we want MPs to pay taxes like other Ugandans because they enjoy many privileges than any other worker in the country,” he said.
Mr Kenneth Beinobwegye, the head teacher of Kahugu Primary School, said he would willingly participate in any demonstration if President Museveni signs the Bill. “How can a teacher who earns only Shs300,000 a month, pay taxes and MPs who earn a consolidated sum of more than Shs25m not pay?” he wondered.
In Luweero, residents through their village budget club, a service delivery advocacy group, said it was selfish for MPs to exempt themselves from paying income tax yet they didn’t consult them as people they represent.
Mr Alex Tibenderana, the Forum for Women in Democracy field officer in Luweero, said at least 530 residents had signed the petition by Monday.
In an interview on Tuesday, Mr Abraham Byandala, the minister Without Portfolio and the Katikamu North MP, said residents were free to express their views but added he would meet them to “explain how this came about”.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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