Democratic Party president general Nobert Mao (left) addresses a press conference. Photo by Kennedy Oryema
The Democratic Party (DP) has criticized President Yoweri Museveni for assenting to the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2016, exempting MPs' allowances from taxation.
Speaking during their weekly press briefing in Kampala, Norbert Mao, the president general, said it is unfair for the government to exempt MPs, whose monthly salary and allowances are hefty, from tax at the expense of the poor Ugandans.
"This is greed on the side of the MPs, on top of the many millions of money they pocketed for new vehicles, they are not going to pay tax on their allowances," Mao said.
He expressed fear that the President may use the favor extended to the MPs by exempting their allowances from tax, to have Parliament endorse the amendment of the constitution, to lift the presidential age limit, as a pay back to the President.
On November 19, the President assented to the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2016, exempting MPs' allowances from tax, amidst opposition by members of the public ,especially civil society organizations, saying the exemption, would impact on Uganda's revenue.
The President had initially rejected assenting to the Bill and returned it to Parliament, for preview, but eventually signed it into law, to the surprise of Ugandans.
According to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), the country is likely to lose about sh45b in revenue over MPs' tax exemption.
MPs already pay tax of up to sh3.3m each, out of the sh11.1m basic salary; they are paid at the end of the month.