Over twenty thousand signatures have been collected from Masindi, Buliisa, Kiryandongo and Hoima districts in a move to petition the president not to assent a bill that was passed by parliament on 14th April 2016 exempting Members of Parliament from paying taxes on their allowances.
This was disclosed by Kangula Lawrence, a program officer for Mid-Western Regional Center for Democracy and Human Rights (MICOD) during a meeting to issue out a press release that was held at Masindi Public Primary school in Masindi town on Sunday afternoon.
Kangula said that, it is not yet too late for Ugandans to overturn a decision that was made by Members of Parliament during a session chaired by speaker Rebecca Kadaga adding that even in developed countries like Denmark, 49% of income of all people serving in government is deducted as taxes.
He also observed that, MPs decision to exempt themselves from paying tax will set bad precedence to the citizenry who may opt to tax evasion.
Vincent Byaruhanga, a civic mentor working with Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) noted that, a decision by MPs to relinquish their obligation to pay tax will cause a serious gap that has to be filled by the poor Ugandans hence draining them.
Fred Sunday Kapimpini, one of the analysts wondered as to why MPs decided to exempt themselves from paying taxes yet low income earners like teachers are paying. He advised MPs to budget for their incomes including salaries and allowances if they are to match with the prevailing economic demands.
Maureen Kyomuhendo, FOWODE field officer who organized the meeting said that, each MP should be paying shs9million out of his or her total monthly allowances and salary making a total of shs41.58billion every year.
Kyomuhendo explained that, such money would pay 4,208 health workers annually or 101,878 primary school teachers adding that, in the financial year 2016/17 national budget, government has a financial gap of shs35billion to recruit 3,542 extra health workers.