One of the most celebrated singers, A Pass is so furious and serious about the imposed mobile money and social media tax that was implemented by the government.
The ‘Didada’ hit maker, A Pass while appearing in some conference made it clear that all the people concerned regarding this social media tax, should have some sense in their minds. The reason being that the government doesn’t pay these social media websites, and they are busy making people’s lives harder especially the less privileged.
A Pass furious about social media tax.
However, he continued and made it clear that all the people are already paying tax through data bundles, and on top of that, they have decided to make it worse in a way of theft through these taxes. A Pass is well-known for cracking jokes while using social media but this time he confirmed that there serious about this issue and should stop immediately.
“Should we just sit and watch ??? No please ❌
we have to speak out on how we feel with no apology. We need to stand for what is ours, it’s a trap they are setting we are not going to become victims. Please share the message >>>>>#ThisTaxMustGo”. A Pass lamented.
To add on, other artistes like Spice Diana, comedian Salvador, spoke about this implying that the however is responsible for the tax increment should use brains but not stomachs, because this is really unfair in Uganda today.
Therefore, they confirmed a press statement in regards to social media and mobile money taxes that was convened on Tuesday, 2 July, 2018 at 10.00AM.
PRESS STATEMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND MOBILE MONEY TAXES
We the young citizens of Uganda, from various walks of life, professions, vocations and associations would like to thank the Fourth Estate for honouring our invitation to this joint Press Conference.
We have convened this gathering to express our grave discontent and unequivocal anger about the imposition of new taxes on social media and mobile money transactions through an amendment to the Excise Duty Act, starting Saturday, 1st July, 2018. The amendment creates a levy on access to dozens of social media sites and a prohibitive 1% tax on the value of all Mobile Money transactions. We find this exploitative, prohibitive and an affront to the rights of the citizens of this country, hence blatantly unconstitutional.
Among others, we reject these taxes for the following reasons;
i) Social Media has until now been the last existing frontier of expression for our generation. It was the safest space in which we could interact, share ideas and experiences. This tax is an impediment and has created a blockade against expression, interaction, access to information, finding opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship;
ii) The tax on social media depicts the continued exclusion of the young people from important national processes like the national budgeting process which are dominated by and serve the interests of the older generation which is out of touch with the realities of the young person in this country. This tax would definitely never have passed if young people were consulted because we know our hustle.
iii) The tax on access to Social Media and Mobile Money transactions is a triple tax and hence exploitative. As of today, airtime is taxed; paying for the tax is also taxed and transactions via Mobile Money are similarly taxed.
iv) As young people, we represent Small and Medium-sized Enterprises which are the engine of any economy. Most, if not all our businesses are dependent on internet (and social media) marketing and advertising and e-commerce generally. Among the affected businesses is the arts industry, journalism, car hire and rentals, online retail shops and social marketing. For a youthful population with an unemployment rate that is over sixty-five per cent, the tax on social media can only worsen the situation because our businesses are struggling even harder.
v) The method of collecting the social media tax is not only backward. It is also discriminatory. With rising poverty levels in this country, we reject the idea that a Ugandan who uses and can only afford data of say, 500/= to use social media a day should be charged 200/=. This tax renders access to social media a preserve of the economically empowered despite many of our people living in extreme poverty. This is also true for the mobile money tax.
vi) With the above highlighted grave levels of unemployment, many young Ugandans have hustled and started mobile money businesses. This is their own source of livelihood. As a result of the imposed tax, many Ugandans are avoiding mobile money transactions. Aside from creating such an inconvenience to the citizens, this will reduce mobile money transactions substantially and therefore completely render the already under-employed unemployed. The 1% charged on every transaction is unconscionable in a setting where most people rely on the service to do so many transactions per day- to pay utility bills, school fees, sending money to family members, etc.
vii) Finally but not least, we reject the notion that Uganda does not have enough money to invest in infrastructure and development hence justifying these extortionist taxes. Like many Ugandans, we know that if government set the right priorities, we would be far as a country. We see no need to pay more unreasonable taxes to fund corruption and wasteful government expenditure.
For the reasons above, we reiterate our clear and unequivocal dissatisfaction with this tax. We implore the Prime Minister of Uganda and Leader of Government Business in the Parliament Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda to immediately move a motion to repeal the amendments to the Excise Duty Act that gave rise to the unfortunate social media and mobile money taxes. We call upon the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to immediately summon MPs from recess so that they can immediately repeal that law.
If our concerns are not addressed by Friday 6th July, 2018 at 12:00pm, we are going to mobilise the country to exercise their constitutional rights and actively reject and protest against this tax.
We acknowledge the efforts of our colleagues who have already lodged a constitutional petition in the Constitutional Court and hope that the Judiciary will treat this matter with the urgency it deserves.
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