Muhakanizi: MPs must pay taxes

Keith Muhakanizi

A decision by legislators to exempt their emoluments from income tax is likely to hit a dead end after government on Monday scolded it, amid public outrage with constituents disparaging them as ‘hyenas’.

The permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development Keith Muhakanizi, said all MPs income is subject to taxation just like any ordinary Ugandan.

According to him, the first principle of taxation is the principle of equity and therefore MPs income, including allowances has to be taxed.

“It is not proper for some people or for me to use my position not to pay tax. All of us must pay taxes,” Mr Muhakanizi said during a quarterly press conference held at the Finance ministry head office in Kampala.

Muhakanizi also said government took a major step in decentralizing the process of wage payment.

“Ghost pensioners have since been eliminated. Pensioners and employers receive their pay on time and significant arrears cleared,” he said.

He further argued that government focus now is improving service delivery.

“I’m proud together with BOU of CB that we managed the economy very well in-spite of all your talking.

All funds have been released to the health sector as budgeted,” he added.

According to him, government commitment to raising many in efficient ways in time has continued and remains at 100%.

Earlier at the press briefing, the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) coordinator Mr Julius Mukunda had expressed concern that despite complaints from Ugandans over MPs tax exemption on their allowances; he noise there was no technical advice from the finance ministry on this financial year’s budget.

“There’s no budget information in health centres, absenteeism. Monies reach centres except in cases where head teachers don’t check if the money is on their accounts,” said Mukunda

Benefits enjoyed by MPs

  • Consolidated pay Shs20m or Shs25
  • A one-off car grant of Shs130 million
  • Monthly gratuity of 30 per cent
  • Medical insurance cover
  • A furnished office
  • A Shs2.6m iPad for each legislator.
  • The Commission had proposed tea, lunch and housing allowances
  • Mileage facilitation
  • Constituency facilitation
  • Subsistence allowance of about Shs3 million or more,
  • Sitting allowances (committees/ plenary),
  • Social security benefits of Shs9 million per month

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