TAXATION | LEGISLATION
KAMPALA – The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has opposed the controversial social media and mobile money taxes, calling them unconstitutional.
In her opening remarks for Wednesday’s Parliament sitting, Kadaga appealed to the government to listen to the concerns of the citizens on the two taxes.
“There has been a public uproar on some of the taxes imposed, particularly the social media and mobile money taxes. I got petitions from mobile money agents and Makerere University students who said they are no longer able to do research and share academic information.
“The mobile money agents said the tax is killing their business. The taxes are in breach of Article 40 of the Constitution on economic rights and access to information rights. I want government to listen to the stakeholders,” Kadaga stated.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda later read a statement in which government notified Parliament that owing to the public outcry regarding the two taxes, government had resolved to amend the Over the Top Tax (social media tax) and the 1% excise duty on mobile money.
Rugunda assured the House that government would next week on Thursday present to Parliament an amendment to the two taxes in regard to the views from the general public.
“The Excise Duty was presented, debated and passed and the President assented to it and consequently became an Act of Parliament. Since the Act came into force, government has noted public concerns especially on the social media tax and the mobile money tax.
“The President has provided guidance and encouraged discussion on the matter without causing unbearable burden to the citizens. Government is now reviewing the taxes taking into consideration the concerns of the public,” Rugunda explained.
Several MPs who included Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi, and Lubaga North MP, Moses Kasibante, said Ugandans want the taxes dropped not just amending them.