Politics

Uganda MPs Are Mad – Minister Onek

Minister Hilary Onek

The Minister of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, doctor http://catrinmacdonnell.co.uk/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/gravatar-hovercards.php Eng. Hilary Onek has termed the move by fellow members of Parliament to exempt themselves from paying taxes as greedy, site http://condominiolagosclubhouse.com/plugins/content/vote/vote.php disastrous and sheer madness.

The Minister who is also MP for Lamwo County stated yesterday that if other civil servants pay taxes, treat there was no excuse of Members to try to dodge them.

The Members’ initial efforts to amend the Income Tax (2016) to remove their allowances from the tax bracket suffered a setback this week, when President Yoweri Museveni refused to sign the bill and sent it back to Parliament.

Some members have however vowed to prioritize this effort once the 10th Parliament opens and send the bill back to the President.

Minister Onek noted that teachers, nurses and other government employees get very little money compared to MPs, but it is taxed.

“As MPs it’s diabolical of us to hold ourselves to different standards just because we are law makers,”
Onek said.

“To exempt ourselves from paying taxes is just not right. It’s narcissistic, greedy, egotistical and self-centered of us to even think that our standards should be different from that of the very people who sent us to parliament.”

Onek added that the most outrageous thing would be MPs failing to pass the 2016/17 budget as some have vowed if the tax law is not signed.

“And the most preposterous thing to do is to hold the national budget at ransom over this frivolous act.”

President Museveni in a letter to Speaker of Parliament said that in principle, salaries for all employees were consolidated to minimize abuse, which was hitherto rampant through disguise of salaries in form of allowances.

The president stressed that the move was part of the efforts to change the taxpaying culture in the country and improve tax effort.

He added that parliament or government cannot have any moral authority to encourage the public to comply with their tax obligations when Members of Parliament have granted themselves special status since it would tantamount to applying double standards.

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