A section of aggrieved taxpayers from Kasese District have asked President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni to cut public officials’ salaries and stop them from being treated abroad to cut expenditures and drive the country out of its current economic woes.
This was during a post-budget engagement held at Virina Gardens in Kasese town – organized by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, and hosted by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) – taxpayers noted that there is a need for government to cut officials’ salaries and restrict them from being treated abroad to reduce expenditure.
Taxpayers such as Joy Biira, Martin Musoke and Julius Kato complained that the government was levying high taxes on their small businesses to be able to pay salaries and help top officials seek treatment outside the country while millions of Ugandans are condemned to poor health services in public hospitals where there are sometimes no drugs and where health workers are demotivated.
Musoke said that the multiple and high taxes were making it difficult for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to survive.
Taxpayers also tasked the government to make accountable for money spent on officials’ treatment abroad and to resolve to start spending this money to construct and adequately equip health facilities in the country.
James Mbahimba, a former MP for Kasese Municipality, asked URA to sensitize the masses about electronic payment since most of them are illiterate on the use of technology in clearing taxes.
Responding to taxpayers’ concerns, Richard Kalisa, a commissioner from URA, noted that the tax collection body will continue to hold mass sensitization across the country.
David Okwii, a Senior Economist at the Finance Ministry, who represented the minister for finance noted that government will cut the cost of travel for its officials to half and that a report from the Salaries Review Commission will be released soon.
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