President Museveni attended a breakfast prayer organised by Parliament  recently (PPU Photo)

Legislators tell President Museveni they are not ready to pay tax and throw income tax amendment bill back in his face to sort it

Ayiswa Issa Monday, 31 October 2016 - 10:44pm Money

Legislators want the Finance Committee to send back the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2016 to the President. The bill, which was passed by Parliament during the 9th Parliament, seeks to exempt Legislators from paying taxes on allowances including fuel allowances, which is part of their consolidated pay about 20 million shillings every month.

The bill, which was passed by Par­lia­ment dur­ing the 9th Par­lia­ment, seeks to ex­empt Legislators from pay­ing taxes on al­lowances in­clud­ing fuel al­lowances, which is part of their con­sol­i­dated pay about 20 mil­lion shillings every month.

President Museveni and Kadaga's Parliament fail to agree on income amendment bill (PPU Photo)

How­ever, Pres­i­dent Mu­sev­eni de­clined to as­sent to the bill and sent it back to Par­lia­ment, ex­plain­ing that the ex­emp­tions un­der Sec­tion 19 of the law would af­fect rev­enue col­lec­tion and was not “morally cor­rect”.While ap­pear­ing be­fore Par­lia­men­t’s Fi­nance Com­mit­tee on Oc­to­ber 27th 2016, two Par­lia­men­tary Com­mis­sion­ers, Ari­naitwe Rwaka­jara, also Work­ers’ legislator and Usuk County legislator, Pe­ter Og­wang stood their ground on the ex­emp­tions.

The com­mis­sion­ers noted that con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief that the Legislators do not pay any taxes, leg­is­la­tors’ salaries are taxed.Og­wang stated that MPs pay close to 4 mil­lion shillings monthly in taxes. He cited mileage al­lowances, which he said can­not be taxed be­cause it is a di­rect fa­cil­i­ta­tion for MPs’ work in the con­stituen­cies. Ari­naitwe, on his part, tasked who­ever doubted the Legislators’ tax records to go to Uganda Rev­enue Au­thor­ity for ev­i­dence.

State Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, David Ba­hati also ap­peared be­fore the com­mit­tee but failed to give gov­ern­men­t’s po­si­tion on the bill when tasked by leg­is­la­tors. He asked for more time to con­sult.The pass­ing of the bill sparked wide­spread out­cry from the civil so­ci­ety and pub­lic who ral­lied for sig­na­tures across the coun­try com­pelling the Pres­i­dent not to sign the bill into law.

Ac­cord­ing to Rule 132 of Par­lia­men­t’s Rules of Pro­ce­dure, once a bill is passed and the Pres­i­dent de­clines to as­sent to it, it is re­turned to the com­mit­tee, which will con­sider it and make rec­om­men­da­tions to the House.The House will de­bate the mo­tion and pass the bill with amend­ments or not and sent to the Pres­i­dent.

If the Pres­i­dent re­turns the bill again, Par­lia­ment can pass the bill. 

 

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