Members of Parliament have launched a series of criticisms against the secretary to the treasury Keith Muhakanizi on the taxation of their incomes.
On Monday, Muhakanizi said the first principle of equity is taxation insisting that all legislators must pay taxes just like any other citizen.
“Our position as the Ministry of Finance/Treasury is very strong – the principle of equity must apply,” he said.
He was backed by Cissy Kagaba, the executive director Anti-Corruption Coalition for Uganda, who said MPs can’t be exempted from paying taxes because they have fat allowances and a total of Shs57bn which taxpayers pay them on top of a monthly salary of about Shs2.6million.
The MPs, however, held a press briefing at parliament on Tuesday saying they will not be told what to do with their money.
Usuk County MP Peter Ogwang says Muhakanizi is pretending to be minister of Finance.
“He is not sensitive, he is aware MPs pay Shs3.3m monthly,” Ogwang said visibly disappointed.
Rubanda East MP Henry Musasizi says what Keith is saying is outside his scope of work.
“He has no mandate to tell us how to do our work.”
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The MPs threatened not to pass national budget if President doesn’t assent to their tax exemption bill.
Ogwang and Musasizi warned civil servants who condemned their tax exemption deal to tread carefully.
“We cannot pass the budget until we are sure that our amendment to Income Tax Bill has been concluded. In case the President does not sign the Bill, it will still come back to the same people in Parliament. These are hard facts. We will still pass it without fear or favour,” Musasizi said.
If President Museveni assents to this Bill, Uganda will lose about Shs49.2billion additional revenue annually, close to Shs9 million per MP per month.