Museveni position on kerosene tax insensitive, says Opposition

FDC spokesperson John Kikonyogo (L) addresses journalists at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi yesterday. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA

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Cater for all. FDC party members say the President’s insistence on passing the Budget underlooks the needs of the poor.

Kampala. Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has described President Museveni’s stand against the scrapping of the kerosene (paraffin) tax as ‘insensitive’ to poor Ugandans.
Speaking during the FDC weekly media briefing at the party’s headquarters in Najjankumbi, Kampala yesterday, FDC party spokesperson John Kikonyogo said some leaders in Uganda “were becoming parasites on the poor”.
“Those of us in leadership are becoming parasites to the poor, we don’t normally use kerosene but we want to tax it yet it benefits the poor,” he said.
President Museveni recently rejected three Bills and returned them to Parliament for further consideration consequently opposing Parliament’s decision to scrap the tax on Kerosene.
This followed Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka’s 2014/2015 Budget speech in which she proposed a tax of Shs200 on a litre of kerosene to help the government raise Shs15 billion.
But civil society organisations led by Forum for Women in Democracy (Fowode), a women’s rights organisation, mounted a campaign dubbed “Anti- Tadooba Tax Campaign 2014” which lobbied Members of Parliament not to pass the National Budget 2014/15 with the exercise duty (tax) on kerosene.
Mr Kikonyogo said the President is fighting some of the programmes he has been propagating like Universal Primary Education when he refuses the scrapping of the tax on kerosene because the majority of UPE beneficiaries use kerosene lamps to read.
He also questioned the rationale of the tax noting that the minister’s argument of fuel adulteration doesn’t hold water.