The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga will tomorrow rule on whether the public should or shouldn’t continue paying Social Media and Mobile Money taxes as government prepares to amend the Excise Duty Amendment Act 2018.
This is after Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda Wednesday revealed that Government is in the process of reviewing the Excise Duty Amendment Act 2018 and the new amendments set to be tabled on 19th July 2018.
Kadaga suspended the debate on the controversial Social Media and Mobile money taxes, saying that she needs time to consult her legal team on whether Parliament has the powers to suspend the implementation of an Act it has passed and has been assented to by the President.
Kadaga asked Rugunda what Ugandans should do in the meantime ahead of the new proposed amendments.
Rugunda then revealed the bombshell that Ugandans have to continue paying the taxes arguing, “What will happen between now and when the law is considered will be the implementation of the existing law.”
However, Kadaga argued: “This Bill is the Bill of this House. If it comes, it has to be subjected to the 45 days because we can’t debate it in a day.”
Paul Mwiru, the Jinja East MP questioned if Government is going to refund money that was collected on deposit fees before the Commissioner General of URA, reversed the decision.
Cecilia Ogwal, the Dokolo Woman MP asked Rugunda to reveal where the money that has been collected is being kept so far and how much is it at the time.
“Now that Government has admitted that the Act was erroneously passed, I think it is clear that the tax was erroneously passed in the House. May we know where the money is being kept and how much money has been collected so far? Will they return the money that has been taken?” she said.
However, Kadaga was quick to correct her pointing out that there was nothing erroneous about what Parliament did as the proposals passed were brought by Government, not Parliament.
With the number of questions coming up and no response coming through from Government side, Kadaga was forced to suspend the debate.
“I want to consult with my legal team to see how we can handle segments of that law, so we should wait. I will give my ruling tomorrow on this issue so that we know how to move,” she said.