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Civil society takes MPs tax protest to the streets

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Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have launched a countrywide campaign by marching in Kampala streets against a proposed tax allowance exemption for Members of Parliament (MPs).

The organisations say they are marching in support of President Yoweri Museveni’s original stand against an MPs tax allowance exemption.

The street march which started from Kampala Railways Grounds, ended at Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Ground where hundreds of citizens appended their signatures petitioning President Museveni to reject the new clause in the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill.

The protest march was flagged off by cleric Imam Kasozi in the company of Julius Mukunda the Coordinator of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), Fredrick Kawooya Policy Manager at Action Aid Uganda, Nelly Busingye SEATINI’s Programme Officer and KACITA’s official at Kampala Railway Grounds.

The march follows MPs stand that they should be exempted from paying tax on their allowances even after Museveni refused to assent to the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2016 arguing that they should pay.

“We are aware that our MPs pay taxes on their salaries, however their allowances are much higher than the salaries meaning if this exemption is allowed, they will pay lesser than what is required of them. This burdens us citizens and so we call on all of you to rally your MPs to abandon this move,” Imam Kasozi  said.

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The CSOs condemned the MPs’ move saying it’s unconstitutional. They argued that in 2012 Parliament passed an amendment where an employee who earns more than UGX10m in a month actually pays 40% as PAYE and now the same Parliament doesn’t want to pay taxes under the new law it passed.

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