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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7768
JPY
USD
108.84
GBP
USD
0.6124
CAD
USD
1.0999
INR
USD
61.042

Rates may not be current.