Since Covid-19 outbreak, several countries, including Uganda, have put in place stimuli packages - fiscal, monetary and macro-finance policies - aimed to resuscitate economies and lives of their citizens. However, thousands of workers or employees have lost jobs in six months and many may follow suit due to the Covid -19 pandemic. Government should consider the following proposals:
Mr President, I propose that for all those who have lost their jobs, as well as those whose salaries were cut but have been compliant with PAYE, be given a tax relief through PAYE refunds for November and December 2019, and January and February 2020 so that they can rehabilitate themselves, pay debts, start new life, create new jobs to enable them pay school fees and feed their families. This applies to the private sector.
Besides, for all those who still have jobs, they should be given a tax relief through PAYE refund for July, August and September 2020, so that they can stimulate the economy through re-investing, paying debts, creating new jobs, taking their children to school and feed their families.
Besides, all businesses and companies that met their tax obligations religiously by March 2020 should be given a tax holiday for October, November, and December 2020 to enable them fight bankruptcy, re-invest, pay debts, reemploy and employ new staff, boost production and supplies so that both expenditures and production can boost the economy for the better.
These will protect companies, as well as jobs by stopping insolvency and takeovers.
In addition, VAT reduction from 18 per cent to 14 per cent will spur Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) sales for October to March (6 months) as consumption will be stimulated.
Furthermore, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) should address the challenge of tax evaders and bring more businesses to comply with their tax obligation.
I believe these will be an incentive enough to bring back life, optimism, motivation to the economy. With revamped businesses due to such measures, we are bound to bounce back strong.