News / Economy

Economists: Uganda’s New Taxes Target Poor

FILE - A Ugandan man cleans his clothes at the Makerere Kivulu slums in Kampala.
FILE - A Ugandan man cleans his clothes at the Makerere Kivulu slums in Kampala.

Related Articles

Uganda's government has been struggling to find new sources of income since Western donors cut funding over the anti-homosexuality bill passed late last year. Economists say a raft of proposed new taxes unfairly target the poor, particularly farmers.  

Uganda’s proposed new budget, unveiled by the finance minister last week, aims to fill at least part of the shortfall left when some Western donors withdrew millions of dollars in aid earlier this year.  

But Ugandan economists pointed out Tuesday that many of the proposed new taxes would hurt the most vulnerable members of society.

Speaking at a conference of economists in Kampala, they described these taxes as “regressive.”  Items like salt and kerosene, which are subject to new taxes under the budget, are disproportionately used by the poor, they said.

A tax on agricultural inputs also came under attack. Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group coordinator Julius Mukunda says taxing such basic supplies as garden hoes unfairly targets subsistence farmers, a sizeable percentage of Uganda’s population.

He says this could have broader consequences.

“You tax a hoe - that is how desperate we can be," he said. "All these ones are going to make everyone who is deriving his livelihood from agriculture to suffer. If we have been fearing food insecurity, if we have been fearing drought, be rest assured [that] it is going to be at our door come next financial year if these proposals are put in place.”

The Ugandan government has argued that in order to increase public spending in the coming year, as it plans to do, it has to raise revenue through taxes. New taxes are also being proposed on fuel, sugar and mobile money transactions.

The Ugandan parliament still has to vote on the budget before it becomes law. The vote is expected in September.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: 1worldnow from: Earth
June 26, 2014 11:36 PM
Eusebio, what the heck did you say??? Good grief, man, Axial is in Uganda and the English in that comment is fine! Taxing the poor! Where are all the filthy-rich African-American entertainers screaming injustice for their brothers and sisters? Oh, my bad, they claim their African heritage, but could care less about Africa. Oh how naive of me! No government should ever ask anything from the poor, ever! The government should always be asking the poor "What can we do for you?" The government should be asking the wealthy "Why are you rich when we have so many poor?" Yeah, our poor here in the US do get taxed, but they do get it back at the end of the year, most of them also qualify for extra tax credit, which means they get more back than what they gave. If your government was offering that type of tax relief to your poor, then I would say it sucks, but at least they will get it back.

What is going on in Uganda? Taking money from the poor?

by: Axial College Uganda from: Ugand
June 23, 2014 5:42 AM
The tax is unfair. There are other things which could be taxed - corporations should be taxed instead of small scale farmers and communities - who also don't have access to alternative sources of machinery other than hoes. The tax will have a negative impact on Uganda's poverty reduction policies. Food insecurity is a real possibility. Increasing revenue is necessary, as there has been an over-reliance on foreign aid - however, the biggest concern should be with what the Govt. spends the new revenue on anyway.

by: eusebio manuel pecurto from: Portugal
June 19, 2014 12:39 PM
stop state of Uganda the peoples poor not of injustice the state of welfare the peoples poor should come state

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9238
JPY
USD
119.51
GBP
USD
0.6614
CAD
USD
1.2119
INR
USD
63.562

Rates may not be current.